I really enjoyed Faith Bass Darling's Last Garage Sale--so much so that I stayed up to finish it with the clock edging toward midnight and my alarm ready to wake me in 6 scant hours.
It is the last day of 1999 in Bass, Texas, and Faith Bass Darling wakes with the sure conviction that God has instructed her to sell her possessions on what will be the last day of her life. So she drags out to her yard five generations of family heirlooms including Tiffany lamps, a Louis XV clock, and a Spode china set and begins to dispose of them to a growing number of bargain-hunters. Throughout this remarkable day we learn Faith's story--the one told by the heirlooms and their provenance (both real and re-imagined), and the one told through the memories of Faith, her daughter, and a few friends.
And yet can these memories be trusted any more than the stories of the histories of the heirlooms? It seems unlikely, given that Faith, suffering from Alzheimer's, has begun to "sundown" and experience a past and present all jumbled together. In her more lucid moments Faith questions who we are without our memories and wonders why she can't keep the ones she wants and get rid of others.
Meanwhile, the others, trying to decide whether or not Faith needs rescuing, experience their own crises best summed up by this line I so hope makes it to the finished publication unchanged: "squinting hard for signs of the wandering Faith." From Claudia the one-time Buddhist daughter to Father Fallow the Episcopalian priest, each of the characters faces an examination of faith and Faith.
In turns funny, heartbreaking and surprising, Faith's garage sale is one worth visiting. This book is due out in May 2012.