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They Left Us Everything: A Memoir By Plum Johnson,

  • Title: They Left Us Everything: A Memoir
  • Author: Plum Johnson
  • ISBN: 9780399184093
  • Page: 159
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A warm, heartfelt memoir of family, loss, and a house jam packed with decades of goods and memories After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety three year old mother author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers have finally fallen to their middle aged knees with conflicted feelings ofA warm, heartfelt memoir of family, loss, and a house jam packed with decades of goods and memories After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents first for their senile father, and then for their cantankerous ninety three year old mother author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers have finally fallen to their middle aged knees with conflicted feelings of grief and relief Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, twenty three rooms bulging with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks Plum thought How tough will that be I know how to buy garbage bags.But the task turns out to be much harder and rewarding than she ever imagined Items from childhood trigger difficult memories of her eccentric family growing up in the 1950s and 60s, but unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships, with a accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued.They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past, and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.
    They Left Us Everything A Memoir A warm heartfelt memoir of family loss and a house jam packed with decades of goods and memories After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents first for their senile father and then for

    One thought on “They Left Us Everything: A Memoir”

    1. 3.5 stars They Left Us Everything is an odd little memoir The author recounts the year following her mother s death, during which she lived in her childhood home going through her parents things and preparing the house for sale The memoir focuses on far than the physical act of sorting through stuff she dwells on parts of her mother s life, her own childhood and her relationship with her mother The book is odd because we jump right into the author s situation with little background or prelude f [...]

    2. I received this book as the result of a giveaway.This was a hard book to set down It was the equivalent of sitting up late at night with a dear friend who was caught between reminiscing and grieving I did not ever feel this was a woe is me book, which some memoirs dealing with loss can feel like, but of a testament to what an adult can feel about their parents once they are gone A memoir about finding oneself along with who their parents were I did find it a refreshing look back over Johnson s [...]

    3. So here s an interesting concept instead of clearing out our possessions before we die, author Plum Johnson urges us to leave everything for our children to sort on the grounds that it will lead them to better understand our lives That s what happened when her own parents died, leaving a massive house full of stuff ranging from valuable antiques to pockets full of used Kleenex It took her about a year to sift everything, and her personal journey through the lives of her parents made her a better [...]

    4. I received this ebook from First to Read for an honest review Thank you to the author, publisher and First to Read for this opportunity.I really don t read a lot of non fiction books I requested this one based on the title and cover I knew nothing about it as I started reading because I didn t read the blurb about it I am so thankful I requested and received this book I read it in less than a day and absolutely loved it.Plum knows how to weave a story to make you feel as though you are living it [...]

    5. This house is so big I realize I ll need a master plan for clearing it out I can t afford to get emotional There are twenty three rooms, so if I get caught up in the rigging, I ll go down with the ship.They Left Us Everything the first book ever written by the 68 year old Plum Johnson recently won the RBC Taylor Prize for Non fiction for 2015, and when I heard of it, I was intrigued to discover what an award winning late in life first time author would sound like, and I was delighted by what Joh [...]

    6. The author states My six week plan to sort through clutter has taken sixteen months p.266 This award winning memoir took me four days with the necessary interruptions of life to read It was a classic case of, I couldn t put it down This book is so much MORE than cleaning clutter from an old house It is a fascinating book with a history of a fascinating family The house is like a museum people lived and died in the house The house held the joys and sorrows of an extended family of means and trage [...]

    7. What a pleasure to read an affectionate book about family dealing with the problem of dismantling the home they were raised in and in which their mother continued to live until her death Like Plum Johnson and her four brothers, many of us have been faced with this wrenching situation Plum, being the oldest and most able to do so, volunteers to spend six weeks at the house getting things in order She figures, how hard can it be to buy some trash bags and roll up her sleeves She wasn t prepared fo [...]

    8. I absolutely loved this book I thought it would be a lot sadder than it was, but ultimately, it was uplifting When Plum Johnson s mother finally dies, Plum and her brothers have to sell the house, go through everything and reminisce They learn a lot about their family and themselves in the process THis was a very thoughtful, thought provoking and beautifully written book.This won the RBC Taylor prize for non fiction and was the author s first book She published it at the age of 68 Way to go

    9. At the end of our lives, we become only memories.If we re lucky,someone is passing those down An absolutely beautiful memoir about the love and lessons learned from our parents I laughed and I cried a few times while reading this book and I suppose it makes me a little lost for words Well worth the read

    10. There is something about They Left Us Everything that is both endearing and disconnected Plum Johnson comes from a family with a fascinating history her ancestors and father are all sorts of historic figures, her family has travelled across lands and grew up with various cultures one being of mine on the Malay archipelago and a family home that has been a part of Johnson s and her siblings lives I realize that Mum was the house, and all this time she s been speaking to me, and that is the tone t [...]

    11. This book hits especially close to home for me And in some ways has helped me start the mental prep for a scary eventuality.

    12. This is a quiet book that describes the conflict one feels with respect to our parents from the perspectives we have of them as children, as adults, as caretakers and finally as mourners I appreciated but didn t expect to be able to relate to this so much.

    13. A well crafted memoir about family, and eccentric parents, and life And a 23 room house that has to be cleared out when the author s mother dies in her 90s Full of vivid details the kind I used to tell my students bring a book alive for the reader and pithy observations on human nature.

    14. Actual star rating 3 1 2 stars.My mother died in the fall of 2011 my father on the last day of the year 2014 Between those years my father moved into a dementia care facility and my siblings and I cleared their belongings from their home, each of us taking the things that meant something to us By some process I became the person to whom the archives papers, letters, photographs, scrapbooks came I am nowhere close to even opening the things on the tops of all those piles, as each time I begin I l [...]

    15. I went into this book thinking it would be an emotional journey of an adult daughter and her experience as the caregiver to her ailing, elderly parents Johnson writes well and helped me gained insight into the struggles of baby boomers who face caring for elderly parents, sometimes for decades She also highlights the relationship between mother and daughter which can sometimes teeter totter between loving and tempestuous Unfortunately, I didn t feel quite the emotional impact which so many other [...]

    16. I loved this book I don t usually read memoirs but this one struck a chord with me The premise seemed fascinating to mea woman loses her parents and then finds herself facing the task of emptying their 23 room house and preparing it for sale It seemed daunting to meI m finding it difficult to clean out my attic and purge my own things And I still have both of my parents The book is Canadian, the house is still I hope in Oakville The author won and award for her booke RBC Taylor Prize for non fic [...]

    17. This is the kind of book that you will appreciate if you talk about it with others, as it will inevitably bring up memories and stories from your own family history that are fun important to share and think about A great book club book for sure.

    18. I received a copy of this from a publisher s rep It was on a table with others and I thought it looked interesting it was a wonderful pick I enjoyed this story from several different angles as a genealogist and family history enthusiast, as a librarian and as a daughter When I started reading I was a little disappointed because it seemed to gloss over a lot of details that I would have liked to have known but as I got further into the book I realized that the story was filling in as she told it [...]

    19. As a person with elderly parents who still seem to think yardsales are great and have a house bursting I could relate to this I also liked how she showed that a lot of our turmoil about things or in our lives is really not about the stuff, but what the stuff reminds us of and our own battles with our own self and and the choices we have made.While I don t think I am a sentimental or emotional about things as the author I am glad that I have her experience to draw on so I know that it is okay to [...]

    20. Great book A daughter s memory walk through her relationship with her mother as she deals with her mother s belongings after her death.

    21. A thoughtful book for me having emptied my childhood home a number of years ago when my mother died Now we have downsized and our family home was passed on to a young family Our sons now have their own homes and have never shared this smaller home with us, and I attempt valiantly to keep the clutter under control so the job of dispersal is not as monumental as the one described in the book A Point o View that gives me pause.

    22. I loved this book Although it revolves around a very difficult subject, that of dealing with sickly elderly parents and the aftermaths of their deaths, it is done in such a manner as to help the reader navigate through the stress and turmoil adult children experience as caregivers and orphans Plum does a remarkable job detailing her difficult relationship with her parents, and in particular, her mother daughter relationship as the first and only daughter of two eccentric and very different paren [...]

    23. I always hate to write a less than 5 star review for a memoir, because I realize that the story is very personal to the author and I almost feel bad rating it at all I was attracted to this book because of my own difficult relationship with my mother and the stuff I ve been trying to process since she passed away, and I guess I was hoping to gain some insight from Plum s experience In the beginning I was captivated by the characters and her vivid description of the house and all its contents I a [...]

    24. I did not want this to end So well written and captivating from cover to cover Plum shares her experiences and memories of going through her parents home where she lived for most her childhood Her parents lived in a very grand home in Toronto and never got rid of anything Once they both passed away, it was up to Plum and her three brothers to relive their childhood and go through everything their parents had left behind.Plum effortlessly blends past and present, recalling memories triggered by v [...]

    25. This book was like soul medicine for me A thoroughly enjoyable, therapeutic read So timely as we have recently moved both sets of parents out of their homes and I lost my father almost one year ago I will recommend it to others and trust it will prove to be the same for them.

    26. What a remarkable family So much history on both sides one parent from Britain one from Virginia A family of four boys and only one girl,Plum,who had Sibling Suppers for years to discuss their parents Every family with aging parents should take note.The importance of letter writingis revealed so much to the author about the hidden,private parts of her parent s lives.

    27. This book landed in my hands on the first anniversary of losing my mum Made this a difficult, at times searing, read But its warm, funny, generous recounting of meandering through messy grief broke me open And I m so glad it did.

    28. I loved this story of a large close family and their trials upon losing a brother, and then their parents The family home was the centerpiece of the plot and I d so hoped they would find a way to keep it However transition is part of life and just as the author had to adjust to being alone without parents, all four siblings dealt with the loss and grieving in their own ways Their parents must have been larger than life and growing up in their shadow must have taken some doing.

    29. I liked this book a lot It was a moving story of a daughter sharing the rediscovery of her childhood and parents while cleaning out their home after they had died I don t often read non fiction and this was very good, it actually read like a story and less like a memoir Really lovely.

    30. The author spent 20 years looking after her parents, who were in poor health Then once they passed away, she her siblings had to clean out the house that they had lived in for over 50 years What a huge job And what an odd family

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