A poignant and humorous story that traces Elizabeth Lancaster’s complex relationship with her eccentric mother, Ruth, intertwined with her own gradual acceptance of the illness that has stalked her for twenty years.

Growing up in a family of boys, Elizabeth struggles to maintain her independence in the face of her mother’s intense love for her only daughter. But Elizabeth, determined to broaden her horizons, saves up for a one-way ticket to Europe. A decision to follow up on a mysterious telegram from Germany will put her life on an altered course.

It is while living in Berlin that she first experiences frightening neurological symptoms, but only years later in New York is the medical puzzle solved. While Elizabeth grapples with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, the relationship with Ruth becomes ever more complicated, with secrets having been kept on both sides.

Elizabeth Lancaster’s memoir is the winner of the inaugural Finch Memoir Prize. Selected for its literary quality, Marzipan and Magnolias was applauded by the judges for the author’s warm and humorous portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship.

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