Thursday, April 18, 2013

There Was An Old Woman by Hallie Ephron

Evie Ferrante is not surprised when she gets a call that her mother has been taken to the hospital.  Her mother is an alcoholic and trips to the hospital, followed by a trip to recovery then months of sobriety before the cycle repeated were common.

But Evie is shocked when she arrives t her mother's house and sees the condition.  The house is full of trash and rotting food.  Roaches abound and the mail and unpaid bills are heaped in unattended mountains.  There is a big new TV and Evie discovers envelopes stuffed full of money.  What is going on?

As Evie starts to clean tings up, she renews her acquaintance with Mrs. Yetner, their neighbor across the street.  Mina Yetner is now ninety, but a competent ninety.  She takes daily long walks and spends time helping to keep the marsh that borders the neighborhood safe from development.  Evie hasn't seen Mina in years, but quickly forms an attachment to her.

Mina has her own mysteries, or are they just signs of aging?  Possessions show up in unexplained places, other items are lost, and her nephew, Brian, insists that it is time for Mina to head to a nursing home.  Is the condition of Evie's mom and Mrs. Yetner inevitable signs of age, or is something going on in the neighbor Evie grew up in?

Hallie Ephron has written a compelling page turner about preserving the past and how old age can make that difficult.  The reader learns about old New York history such as an earlier plane that flew into the Empire State Building decades ago.  The plot is satisfactorily intriguing and the reader is drawn into sympathy with the protagonists.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.


CMash said...

WOW! Very nice review. I am looking forward to reading this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book.

Teena in Toronto said...

I liked this book :)