When pneumonia lands Estelle Trager unconscious in the emergency room, it ruins everything for the stubborn 65-year-old woman. She’d been keeping a secret—a deadly secret—that she’d planned on taking to the grave. But now her son Adam and his wife, Liza, know about her tumors. Adam is outraged, but Estelle, who watched her mother and grandmother suffer from breast cancer in the days when no one dared speak its name, has no intention of putting her family or herself through the horrors of cancer treatment. Estelle decides there is only one solution: ask Liza, the 33-year-old daughter-in-law she once called a godless hippie raised by wolves, to kill her.
A horrified Liza refuses and keeps the request—among other things—a secret from her furious husband. But she tells his younger brother, Charlie, a close friend from college with whom she shares her own confidences, despite Adam’s serious case of sibling rivalry. Armed with nutrition textbooks and her neighbor, a savvy nurse, can Liza win over her mother-in-law and convince her to consider other options before the cancer, the secrets, and Estelle’s determination to end her life win out?
I didn’t intend on writing another book set into a backdrop of illness. At least not so soon after Drawing Breath, which pretty much wrenched me inside out and had me begging whatever subconscious power supplies me with stories to give me a nice, lighthearted comedy next time. But a death in my own family was still haunting me. And when that happens, I write. So Estelle came into my life. I wanted to know why a woman who knows breast cancer runs in her family would not only conceal that fact from her grown sons, but when she discovers her own lumps, chooses to let nature take its course. And the little apple-cart-upsetter that I am, I let someone find out. Set into a family with its own crazy quirks, closet-skeletons, and almost-healed scars, I sat back to watch how they would handle the situation.
Let’s just say that this isn’t your typical cancer story. I even show you how to make my mother-in-law’s famous chicken soup.
As always, thank you for your support and your comments. You guys continue to awe and inspire me!