First, there’s a funeral. There always is. Then the potential heirs line up for the reading of the will. Only there’s no will. So that leaves two heirs. Then there is a will and it’s gone. Two heirs, one, three, four?
“Motherdarling” is a rollercoaster of heirs, wills, and won’ts. It’s not hard to keep track of who’s who but keeping track of who’s telling the truth and who isn’t is the crux of the matter. Is the prodigal son telling the truth? The stay-at-home sister? Her husband? Motherdarling? How far will any of them go for justice?
“I guess what’s most important isn’t how we feel about our parents but how we’ll be judged by those we leave behind,” says Jack. We’re never told the entire story, but there’s enough to make me change allegiances every chapter. At least, that was the way it seemed until I finished the book. That’s when I started thinking about it. How would I feel in those situations? Have I been in their shoes at least once in my lifetime? How would my children look at me if I had done the same things as Anne and Bella had done? Had it been my mother?
How we’re judged by those we leave behind. That’s a scary concept. It’s easy to ignore the judgments of those we meet now, but those yet unborn and born into different circumstances? How will my grandson look at me, at what I’ve done?
While not completely dark, this book reminds me of “Death of a Salesman.” It has the same ability to make me wonder about myself and my environment. Dave Appleby has taken the human factor, boiled it down to a few sentences, and left the reader to decide the fairness of the justice meted out. I’m still working that one out.