… families, memories, misunderstanding and the power of communication? Wedding Ring by Emilie Richards is a book on mother/daughter relations. The title deals with the many quilts that Helen has made over her lifetime, but that is not the main focus of the story line – four generations of women, Helen, Nancy, Tessa and Tessa’s dead little girl, Kayley. Set in the Shenandoah Valley back country, this is a powerful book of a lot of misunderstanding on the part of the three women.
They come together because Helen is in her 80s. She lives on a hard-scrabble farm and has become a very opinionated hoarder. Her daughter, Nancy, wants to move her to a retirement home and is struggling in her upscale marriage. Nancy’s daughter, Tessa, is struggling to keep her entire life together as she learns that the convicted drunk driver who killed her daughter, Kayley, is getting out of jail. As Helen, Nancy and Tessa clean out the house, they learn about themselves and each other. These three women have had a habit of assuming what has gone on in the past is still part of the present. As each of their stories unfold and intertwine, you come to realize, of course, that the past does shape the present but not always in ways you expect. Old resentments, regrets and the death and memories of Kayley all play a very emotional part of the story. Simple living, hard work and determination, and finally just talking to each other bring all of their memories, good and bad, to the surface.
This book will touch each person who reads it differently, and it is extremely difficult to put down. Laughter and tears will keep you thinking about your own family relationships.
Reviewed by Terry (staff)