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Women's Fiction Review   

 

 

The Three Mrs. Parkers
By Joan Medlicott
Pocket Books, 2005
Trade Paper, $13.00 (290 pages)
ISBN: 0-7434-8796-6
 
 
 

Joan Medlicott creates the kind of characters most of us want as family, neighbors, and friends in other words, she writes about kindhearted, generous people who fail, persevere, and are ultimately triumphant over their worst traits. In The Three Mrs. Parkers, three generations of women are forced to live together due to health problems, financial mismanagement, and a child's death. 

At seventy-two, the first Mrs. Parker, Winifred, has lost both her husband and only son, been forced into retirement by her husband's partners, and is experiencing health problems. Like Winifred's mother-in-law before her, she was never convinced that Zoe, her daughter-in-law, was good enough for her son. Having been forced into being what her mother-in-law wanted, Winifred is unyielding when it's her time to become the family's matriarch. Her son, Steve, is stronger than her husband; consequently, her pride causes an irreparable estrangement. 

Zoe, Winifred's daughter-in-law, has managed to build a life without her mother-in-law's approval or money. While she was devastated by her husband's death, she's found the emotional resources to rear Katie (her daughter and only child) and find her own place in the community. At fifty-two, she's made several bad financial decisions and is facing foreclosure on her property. Inviting Winifred to live with her is both a desperate measure and final resort.  

When Katie's handicapped daughter dies, she returns to the solace of her mother's home and land. To her great surprise, Katie finds herself drawn to the grandmother she's never known. To Zoe's horror, she's jealous of the bond between Winifred and Katie. She's spent years repressing her anger and resentment and finds it impossible to keep her feelings to herself. 

Through a series of misfortunes, the three women find themselves forming a family.  

The Three Mrs. Parkers is a heartwarming story of reconciliation.   

 
Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

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