Monday, December 12, 2022

Review: Terms of Inheritance

Title: Terms of Inheritance
Author: Michelle Upton

Publisher: 30th November 2022 by HarperCollins Australia

Pages: 350 pages

Genre: contemporary

My Rating: 5 cups


Four sisters. A vast fortune. And a mother who thinks she knows best ...

Where there's a will, there's a way.

A funny, poignant, brilliantly observed story about letting go of the past.

When multi-millionaire Jacki Turner is forced to take stock of her life, she sets her daughters a challenge - in order to inherit her vast fortune, each must fulfil a task that she believes will push them to become better versions of themselves.

Rose, an exhausted mother of three, must write and publish a children's picture book. Exercise-hater Mel must run the Gold Coast marathon. Isla, the eldest, must figure out who she is beyond her wealth and status, while commitment-phobic Jess must stay in a relationship for longer than three months.

For each, Jacki's terms seem an impossible task, bringing painful wounds to the surface and straining tenuous relationships. But when the sisters are faced with an unexpected turn of events, they must learn how to move forward and forgive, or risk losing it all.

My Thoughts

I can’t begin to tell you just how much I enjoyed Michelle’s book! It came as such a fantastic surprise - the more I got into it, the more difficult it became to put down. I found it to be the perfect blend of reality and life lessons with a splash of humour. Terms of Inheritance is a book I would highly recommend and couldn’t wait to share with friends. 

‘And so, in a last-ditch attempt to be the best mother I can be, there will be conditions on the inheritance of my fortune. You'll each have one year to complete the task I've set for you. Each task has been designed for you alone, to push you to be the best version of yourself. Should any of you fail, you will all fail, and my vast fortune will be left to Aussie Animal Rescue.’

A story about five women, Jacki the wealthy family matriarch, who sets challenges for her daughters in order for them to inherit her fortune. With the aim to make them better people, all four siblings must complete the tasks in order to inherit. The eldest, Isla must do some soul searching beyond her current wealth; Rose, a busy mother, must write a children’s book; Mel must complete a marathon; and Jess needs to stay in a relationship for longer than three months. 

‘Just because you're ticking all the boxes doesn't mean there's nothing missing. Mum gave us these conditions for a reason - maybe you should think about what that reason is.’

In my interview with Michelle (see the blog) she wrote how writing Terms of Inheritance allowed her to reflect on the many lessons she had learnt from life and the growth that ensued. I actually loved each of the women equally and the journey of growth they went on through both the internal and external challenges - even Jackie’s. 

‘I want you to be pushed out of your comfort zone. I want you to question what it is you really care about. I want you to ask yourselves: who are you right now, and who is it you want to be? … You need to question everything you're doing so you can make changes now, before it's too late. I don't want you to get to the end of your life and have regrets.’

There is just so much to takeaway from this book on how families, despite all the love, can be the most complicated and challenging of relationships. Yet, for me however, Michelle’s tale spoke loudly about stepping out of your comfort zone in order to experience real growth. That you have to let go of what you know in order for life to happen to you - challenge you, exhaust you, reward you. 

‘The tasks I’ve asked of you aren’t easy, but growing into your true self is supposed to be hard. That’s the point. The doubts, the missteps, they're part of the journey. The times you fail are the most important, because that's when you're broken open and where you really get the chance to move beyond what you thought was possible.’

This is a truly wonderful story - so real and relatable. A story of how people can show love in its many forms especially when it comes to families. That letting go, forgiving and moving on are crucial and that your life’s attitude can determine so much. Terms of Inheritance …. read it. You won’t regret it. 

‘We should make a toast to Mum.' 'You're right, said Isla, and she raised her glass. ‘To Mum, and her bloody terms of inheritance.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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