It wasn’t quite Marie Kondo meets Grey Gardens in The Women’s Room, but it was close. Professor Ludwig Berg hoarded; Grace Berg gave away as much as she could. During their thirty-five years of marriage, Luddy was all about the concrete, while abstract Grace sidelined her career in music because marriage and the family required it. At sixty, Grace divorced him to claim her space in the arts, but, by taking his own life, it seemed that Luddy had written the last movement of their relationship. Or did he? A symphony can have a coda. Following Luddy’s tragic suicide, Grace reunites with her sons in the house where her husband hoarded, reclaiming the literal journal of her adult life to make sense of how she came to be The Hoarder’s Wife so she can complete her abandoned concerto. Without this painful reckoning, she knows the music will never come. Every caregiver must reckon with the question of how much to give, if only Grace can learn to keep time.
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