The Rules of Inheritance

The Rules of Inheritance

A Memoir

Book - 2012
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Penguin Putnam
A 2012 Books for a Better Life nominee
A resonant memoir of the ways untimely good-byes echo through the years by a writer who has considered every nuance of grief.

At age fourteen, Claire Bidwell Smith-an only child- learned that both of her parents had cancer. The fear of becoming a family of one before she came of age compels Claire to make a series of fraught choices, set against the glittering backdrop of New York and Los Angeles - and the pall of regret. When the inevitable happens, and Claire is alone in the world, she is inconsolable at the revelation that suddenly she is no one's special person. It is only when Claire eventually falls in love, marries, and becomes a mother that she emerges from the fog of grief.

Defying a conventional framework, this story is told using the five stages of grief as a window into Smith's experience. As in the very best memoirs, the author's powerful and exquisite writing renders personal events into universal experience.

Baker & Taylor
An award-winning blogger and writer for The Huffington Post describes the choices she made at age 14 after she learned that both her parents had terminal cancer and she was going to be alone in the word before reaching adulthood. 40,000 first printing.

& Taylor

The author describes the choices she made at age fourteen after she learned that both her parents had terminal cancer and she was going to be alone in the world before reaching adulthood.

Publisher: New York : Hudson Street Press, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781594630880
Branch Call Number: BIO Smith, C 2012
Characteristics: 298 pages ; 24 cm


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May 03, 2014

This author really loves the phrase LEAN IN... she used it so much that I actually became aware of and annoyed by it.

BPLNextBestAdults Apr 02, 2013

I discovered Claire Bidwell Smith and her writing when she guest posted on one of my favourite blogs I was touched by her article about raising her small children without her mother and decided to check out her memoir, The Rules of Inheritance. Claire shares her journey of grief as she writes about her mother’s death when Claire was 19 and her father’s not long after. Her pain is palpable through the pages as she spirals without direction into an unhealthy relationship with both a troubled man and alcohol. Those who enjoyed Wild by Cheryl Strayed might like this one, and it would be a good choice for young people who have experienced a devastating loss to show that there is light at the end of the tunnel. HW

Jan 20, 2013

Great book! I enjoyed it a lot!

Apr 26, 2012

The first book that was not chronologically ordered that I wasn't frustrated by.

Incredibly honest and raw about the stages of grief one can experience with the death of a close family member.

Recommended for all to help understand what one goes through with the death of a parent.


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