FICTION

There Was an Old Woman

Morrow. Apr. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780062117601. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780062117625. F
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Nonagenarian Mina Yetner keeps a list of everyone she has ever known who has died. The list includes the husband she lost 30 years ago and her recently departed sister. She's now filled four pages of a notebook with names, and when she sees her neighbor being taken away in an ambulance it seems the list will grow again. At the same time, Evie Ferrante, a historian working on an exhibit that includes artifacts from dramatic events in New York's history, learns her alcoholic mother is in the hospital again—and this time it's serious. Mina and Evie form an unlikely bond as Evie tries to come to grips with what her mother's life has become and Mina fends off a nephew who thinks she's too old to care for herself. The two women share more than a neighborhood, but also a past one wants to preserve and the other hopes to forget.
VERDICT Ephron's (Come and Find Me) domestic noir will appeal to those who enjoy mysteries without bloody and violent themes, but readers looking for fast-paced action in their psychological suspense will have to turn elsewhere. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/12.]

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