The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith

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When Claire Bidwell Smith was 14, both her parents were diagnosed with cancer. Her mother died when she was 18, her father when she was 25. This direct and unflinching memoir is Claire's account of how she coped (or didn't cope)...Pared down prose makes this an intense and affecting little book, even if the happy-ever-after ending is somewhat pat.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A powerful and searingly honest memoir about a young woman who loses her family but
finds herself in the process.

In this astonishing debut, Claire Bidwell Smith is just fourteen years old when both of
her charismatic parents are diagnosed with cancer. With an impatience typical of youth,
Claire throws herself at anything she thinks might help her cope with the weight of this
harsh reality: boys, alcohol, traveling, and the anonymity of cities like New York and Los
Angeles. By the time she is twenty-five years old they are both gone and Claire is very
much alone in the world.

What is so remarkable about this tale is not always the story itself, but rather Claire's
ability to let you into it. Both the clarity of her self-reflection and the unconventional
framework the author uses to navigate her story turn the memoir genre on its head and
make this book impossible to put down. Bringing a fresh eye to the world of grief, this
book is evocative of both A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and The Year of
Magical Thinking
, and Claire's journey is at once heartbreaking, uplifting, and utterly
unforgettable.
 

About Claire Bidwell Smith

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CLAIRE BIDWELL SMITH is a Los Angeles–based writer and editor. She writes for The Huffington Post, Blackbook, Yoga Journal, Chicago Public Radio, and the award-winning blog clairebidwellsmith.com.
 
Published February 2, 2012 by Plume. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Rules of Inheritance
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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sophia Martelli on Apr 27 2014

When Claire Bidwell Smith was 14, both her parents were diagnosed with cancer. Her mother died when she was 18, her father when she was 25. This direct and unflinching memoir is Claire's account of how she coped (or didn't cope)...Pared down prose makes this an intense and affecting little book, even if the happy-ever-after ending is somewhat pat.

Read Full Review of The Rules of Inheritance | See more reviews from Guardian

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