Every summer I anticipate a trip home to see my family. We live far enough apart that frequent visits are out of the question. I usually spend three full weeks visiting my family and enjoying every minute of it. (Okay, I do miss my own bed at times.)
Some people have another type of experience with visitors. Some dread an uncomfortable visit by thorny in-laws. Others have relatives who outstay their welcome. Then there’s the distant relative who drops in unannounced.
In Tattered Covers, Zal finds an unwelcome visitor on her doorstep. She hasn’t seen her great-uncle for years. As a child, she dreaded his visits. His breath always exuded the wretched odor of a dead animal. She’d hide behind her grandmother, but Grandma would nudge her forward to accept the stale dinner mints from his thin outstretched hand.
After all these years, she’s no happier to see him than on those occasions he appeared at her grandparents’ house. But this visit proves even more distasteful than those from her childhood. Delivered by a brown-uniformed deliveryman, Uncle Harold arrives in a neatly packaged porcelain urn.
Zal is the reluctant recipient of her uncle’s ashes.
Like a burger flipped on a hot grill, a young widow goes from wealthy wife to washed-up waitress. After an impulsive move to a historic mining town, she becomes a bookstore barista and discovers an unexpected skeleton dangling from her family tree.