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Michael Tucker and his wife, Jill Eikenberry, are enjoying the early years of retirement in their dream house, a beautiful 350-year-old stone farm - house in the central Italian province of Umbria
, when life suddenly interrupts their summer plans. Jill’s mother’s second husband, Ralph, has passed away, and Michael and Jill must leave the respite of the Italian countryside and travel to California
to console Lora, Jill’s mother, and help her plan her future.
Thus begins Family Meals,
a beautifully told memoir that explores the meaning of family and examines the sacrifices we make for those we love. After Ralph’s death, Lora begins a rapid decline into dementia. Jill wrestles with the decision to move her from her comfortable home in Santa Barbara
to New York City
so that she can be near her family. After a disastrous attempt to place Lora in a senior residence in New York
, Jill slowly comes to grips with the reality of her Mom’s condition. By chance, an apartment becomes vacant right across the hall from Michael and Jill and they grab it for Lora and her twenty-four hour aides and set up their own little nursing home. Michael and Jill’s children, Alison and Maxmuch to their parents’ delightdecide not only to relocate to Manhattan
but also move in together. Alison, a personal chef and caterer, takes over the responsibilities of her grandmother’s daily meals. Their family, which had been a loose network of individual parts, is now, remarkably, a cohesive unit. It’s all become very Italian.
is a heartwarming story of Tucker’s own unique family and the journeys each member has taken. It is a book that addresses a fact of life all of us will faceagingwith remarkable charm, sympathy, and warmth, showing the ways in which those we love are our greatest asset in times of sorrow and times of joy.