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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents Paperback – December 23, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
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From Booklist

After their mother’s unexpected death, Grace fled her fiancé and siblings for a life largely lacking emotional connections. Now, five years later, their estranged father is gravely ill, and she and her siblings, Abigail, Huston, and Leo, have been called to his side. Grace must confront her own abandonment of her family even as she comes to terms with her father’s. The siblings discover their father repeatedly tried to restore his relationship with his family and that his seemingly devoted second wife is hiding the true nature of their marriage. As they arrange for their father’s care, Grace rekindles her bond with her siblings and makes amends with her former love. Palmer, author of Conversations with the Fat Girl (2005), writes with honesty, humor, and grace about family and romantic relationships. This realistic, emotional novel will resonate with readers. --Aleksandra Walker
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot; 1 edition (December 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446698385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446698382
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,153,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book revolves around the four adult children in the Hawkes family, who are reunited when their father falls ill. They have struggled as a family since their mother's death five years prior to the start of the story, and the book follows the various ways they have coped with losing a parent. For example, the protagonist, Grace, has isolated herself from her family completely since their mother's death. When faced with the prospect of losing their father, they are forced to either unite or divide.

I really, really enjoyed Liza Palmer's portrayal of this family. The characters, their feelings, their interactions, and their conversations all rang true to me. Of course, the makeup of my family is almost identical to that of the Hawkes', down to the ages, so I may have related more than the average reader. Even if that were the case, I feel that Ms. Palmer is extraordinarily gifted at illustrating even the most mundane ways that siblings interact with one another, and how each tends to have their `role' assigned in childhood and can never quite shed it after that.

The book really explores some of the issues related to losing a parent (which can happen in many ways), and how we struggle to adulthood carrying our scars with us. The writing is fresh, crisp, and in many cases, very funny. The only thing keeping me from giving it five stars is that the writing was uneven in some places. But it was a very nice read that made me look forward to more of Ms. Palmer's books.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Liza Palmer is a brilliant writer. She writes books that are funny, poignant, truthful, grammatically correct and hits that nail right on the head every time. I'm so busy laughing and crying it's taking me a little longer to get through her books. I started seeing her naked, went nowhere but home and just finished with burying her parents. I am amazed how much I like her writing. Each book is so different and yet so perfect. And one of my favorite parts is that every title actually has something to do with the story! (sometimes it's the little things that keep us the happiest! - like excellent copywriters! No horrid spelling errors or misused words - and that is a rarity in today's books.)

I will soon be reading her other books and hopefully she will keep writing them - I for sure will keep buying them. Please do read them - she is BRILLIANT!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read my first Liza Palmer book recently and immediately on completion checked Amazon for her three additional books.

I am almost finished with this book and hate to put it down. Liza Palmer tells an important story in a way that keeps the reader turning pages. I have learned a lot in the two books I have already become familiar with. It is almost like finding a new friend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this well written, poignant and sometimes witty account of the relationship of Grace Hawkes and her family. The characters are colorful and real. The flashbacks to childhood events are riveting and the scenes at the funerals of both parents are unforgetable. It is a wonderful story and I could not put it down.
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Format: Paperback
I decided to write a review for this book after reading the other reviews on Amazon. The story line has been recapped enough, so I won't go into that. I didn't find the book particularly sweet or light, as others have described it. I didn't wonder why Grace's siblings would welcome her back into the fold so readily, or why her ex-boyfriend was still available, as other reviewer's have. I was just really sucked in by the emotions of the four main characters as they dealt with all the confusion and problems their father's stroke revealed. They were all damaged by their father's desertion early in their lives, and they now have to figure out why he chose THEM to, essentially, take care of him and his estate at the end of his life. Perhaps because I've lived through parts of this story already, and am facing it again with my own father, it all just seems very believable and true to me. Parts of it did not make me feel good, but even though these aren't real people, at least you can see that one CAN come out on the other side. It did seem unrealistic that the four siblings are all successful in their careers, have beautiful homes, are very secure financially, and are "beautiful"...not to mention that their father turns out to be incredibly wealthy. And the fact that two of the characters are very successful attorneys certainly made it a lot easier to fight off the wicked "stepmother" in court. I haven't read Liza Palmer's earlier novels, and it was after reading the reviews on Amazon of 'Conversations with the Fat Girl' and 'Seeing Me Naked' that I came to the conclusion that Ms.Palmer's latest novel might be dealing with more serious life issues than her earlier novels. I'm not sure those novels appeal to me, so I can see why readers who loved them might not like 'A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents' as much. I think it is a good read, but I don't think it is light-hearted and sunny...even though it does have a lot of humor in it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished this book and had to come write a positive review. This novel is an engrossing and engaging blend of family drama and romance with a bit of a mystery/legal plot thrown in to round things out. It's smoothly written with a lot of humor and emotion that never feels cliched, even if you feel you've read this plot before.

Grace, the main character, has been living in a detached fog since her mother's death five years before. She doesn't speak to any of her siblings or her former boyfriend. Instead, she's floating through life without feeling anything. When her father--who left the family when Grace was a teenager--has a stroke, Grace is forced to confront the pain that she's kept buried.

I loved all the relationships in this book. John, Grace's former boyfriend, is what you want in a hero--smart, kind, but with an edge. It is perhaps somewhat unrealistic that he'd be available to Grace after five years (throughout, I kept thinking that two to three years would have made more sense), but there's good tension between them and I was invested in their outcome.

I also loved Huston, Abigail, and Leo--is it too much to hope that they all get their own books in the future?

Pick this up when you want a feel-good read that isn't dumbed down.

Grade: A-
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