Book Review: The Inheritance by Elaine Jeremiah

Title: The Inheritance
Author: Elaine Jeremiah
Genre: Contemporary/literary fiction
Format: E-book, available from Amazon or Amazon UK.
Date Read: 28/10/2013 – 31/10/2013
Rating: ★★★★


theinheritanceFirst of all,  a disclaimer: you are very likely going to have to forgive me for parts of this review.  I actually read The Inheritance back in October last year, and my memory is failing me on some of the details. However, a promise of a review is a promise of a review, so here I go!

The Inheritance is the debut novel from fellow WIPpeteer Elaine Jeremiah, and based on the parable of The Prodigal Son, which can be found in Luke’s Gospel. I first became familiar with this story when I was in Year 2 and preparing for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation. From then, it tended to come up a bit throughout my Catholic schooling, not to mention the Bible Study groups I’ve sometimes been to since then, so I’m reasonably familiar with it, you might say. So when I first joined WIPpet Wednesday and learned Elaine Jeremiah’s current WIP (at the time, obviously) was based on this story, but centred around two sisters and set in modern-day England,  I was intrigued.

The two sisters in question are Kate and Emma. The book opens with Emma blackmailing their father for her half of the inheritance so she can move to London and start living the high life, while Kate wonders why her sister would ever want to leave the family farm. You can tell very quickly that the good times aren’t going to last for Emma; even if I didn’t already know the story, I think I still would have reacted to the amount of her inheritance (£100, 000) with something to the effect of, “Honey… I don’t think that’s going to turn out to be as much as you think it is…” And yet, despite a series of bad decisions, I never felt like Emma was just plain stupid. Maybe a little too good at ignoring what’s right in front of her, and at getting swept along with a crowd instead of making her own decisions, but none of this stopped me from sympathising with her when everything inevitably fell apart.

Meanwhile, back on the farm, Kate is drawn into a mystery regarding her former boyfriend Stephen, who disappeared without a trace prior to the story’s beginning, and also starts re-evaluating some of her own life choices. I think I was the victim of a cultural divide here, as I had no idea what the “college” Kate began attending was in this context (and had intended to ask Elaine when I met her on my travels last year, but completely forgot). However, considering the single state I live in has two different things that are referred to as a college, and neither of these is what an American would consider one, it’s unsurprising these things happen. I have to admit that I didn’t find Kate’s story quite as compelling as Emma’s, but there was still enough going on there to hold my interest.

To sum up, The Inheritance is a quick, light read with two interesting but diverse characters at its core. This isn’t actually a genre I read much of, but I do look forward to seeing what Elaine Jeremiah brings to us next!
(Also, if I appear to fail to do this myself, can someone please poke me and remind me to put the reviews that are already on my blog on Amazon and/or GoodReads as well? Kthnx).

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