cover image There Was an Old Woman

There Was an Old Woman

Hallie Ephron. Morrow, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-211760-1

In this touching novel of suspense from Ephron (Come and Find Me), Evie Ferrante returns home to Brooklyn to care for her estranged alcoholic mother, Sandra. As Evie tries to make the house habitable—it resembles a disaster site more than her childhood home—she finds several suspicious uncashed checks. The only person who appears to know anything is Sandra’s elderly neighbor, Mina Yetner, who’s not entirely on the ball herself. Mina’s house also has marks of another sort of decay: she’s nearly set her house on fire, misplaced her purse in the fridge, and lost important documents. Evie becomes convinced that Mina’s forgetfulness is not simply due to her age, and Mina’s nephew, who insists that Mina move into a nursing home, may be hiding something. The narrative never strays far from home, but Ephron’s double portrait of the intimate details of the inescapable consequences of age and alcoholism is as gripping as any traditional mystery. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Apr.)