The Stranger by Joan Hall.
This book opens with Margie Smith’s funeral. She has died aged seventy-two, in Brookhaven nursing home, from lung cancer.
She was a cantankerous woman, everyone says so, and, not surprisingly, there’s hardly anyone at the funeral, but suffering from lung cancer, would I suspect, make many of us that way inclined.
Her only living relative is a daughter, Julie, who is now married to Mark, and they have two grown up children who are doing well. All through Julie’s life, Margie has found fault with everything Julie has ever done, or attempted to do, including her choice of husband.
Mark’s a good man with a good job who treats his family well, but none of that appeared relevant to the apparently mean-spirited Mrs Margie Smith.
Julie is confused and disappointed in her mother’s life-long behaviour and who wouldn’t be? But there is nothing that Julie can do about that now. Margie has taken her secrets to the grave, or has she?
The Stranger is a shortish book, but it’s well written and the pace is good, and it never slows. Towards the end I found it surprisingly emotional, and without giving anything away, if you like that kind of thing you will enjoy this story.
I am glad I bought it, glad I read it, and I liked the cover too.