I stumbled on Hollie Adams’ book Things You’ve Inherited From Your Mother at the public library. As I was waiting for the student I tutor to show up, the cover caught my eye and it was in a display that promised books you’ll love that focus on character. And sure enough, I did love it!
In the novel, the main character Carrie is trying to deal with the fact that her mother is dead. Life is never what we plan and it never looks the way we imagine, and Adams is brilliant in writing her heroine Carrie. Carrie has a complete break down. She ends up wearing fishnets to her mother’s funeral to prove to her ex-husband that she’s over him. She ends up wearing sweat pants for an entire week at work after her two-day-off grief period when her boss creates a ‘no jeans’ dress code. She ends up making penis puns while her daughter tries to say why her daughter doesn’t have any friends at school. She tries to write a ‘self-help’ book. As things get worse and worse, Carrie proves that life is never simple and clean. Life is messy and complicated. Complicated, like right now I’m eating toast with raspberry jam made by my ex-boyfriend’s ex-mother-in-law.
We all have days where nothing goes right and we look like we are in our very own comedy. The topic of grief or loss is heavy, yet Adams uses humour to show that reality is never simple. This week I watched the movie Tammy and was reminded that sometimes we cannot react ‘normally’ in every situation. Sometimes, going overboard is the only answer! For anyone who has seen Bridesmaids, the same idea is there: sometimes the best way to react to something is to overreact. So yes, there are a lot of great films out there right now that show life is complicated and we don’t always make the best/ right/ responsible decisions, yet in the end it’s forgiveness that gets us through. Forgiveness of self is something extremely powerful and that is one of the things I liked about Adams’ book. In the end, Carrie rebuilds her life, and it’s not perfect, but it’s hers.
So, if you have ever reacted poorly or laughed at the wrong time or left things too long, you will enjoy this novel! The library was right: it’s a book about character that you will love. Also, I was encouraged in remembering that the people who truly love me with be there for me, even when I make the wrong decisions!
“The next morning, open your closet to find a dark grey shirt and pair of dark grey pants adorned with neon ‘wear me’ stickers. A fun thing you could do: show up at the church in the assigned attire with her neon Post-its still affixed to the collar of your blouse and thigh of your pants.” (Pg 15)
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Like 6:21)