cover image A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents

Liza Palmer, Author . Hachette/5-Spot $13.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0

Palmer (Conversations with the Fat Girl ) delivers a breezy feel-good story of family bonding. After hearing about her father's stroke, smart-ass heroine Grace Hawkes prepares for the wrath of the siblings she's ignored for the five years since their mother's death. Things are a little tricky, since their dad, Ray, left the family 20 years before and was a prolific philanderer, now remarried to the unsavory Connie. Snappy sibling bickering (sometimes too much of it) takes a bit of the melodramatic edge off as oldest sibling Huston takes charge and is surprisingly given power of attorney. Connie and her adult son, Dennis, aren't happy about this, which raises suspicion among the Hawkes siblings, especially after they visit their father's house and find no trace of Connie having lived there; instead, it's a shrine to Ray's first wife and the kids. As Ray's health declines in the hospital, tensions heat up and a legal showdown looms. There aren't any surprises in the sunny resolution, but Palmer takes enough unexpected detours on the way there to keep readers engaged. (Jan.)