Arden Reviews: The Legacy of Us by Kristin Contino

img_9227Book: The Legacy of Us

Author: Kristin Contino


Audience: Those who enjoy female lead characters and generational-influence stories

Basic description: Taking readers from 1905 Italy to present-day Philadelphia, The Legacy of Us uncovers how the lives of three generations of women are changed by love, loss and one little necklace…

Liz Moretti thought she knew almost everything about her grandmother, Ella, from her love of “The Golden Girls” to the perfect pound cake recipe. But when Ella passes away and Liz finds a cameo locket with a marriage proposal engraved inside (from a man who was not her grandfather), she realizes that sometimes a person’s secrets are discovered only after they’re gone.
While dealing with her feelings for two very different men and generally trying to reinvent her mess of a life, Liz finds answers and solace in Ella’s diary. The story of the cameo, and the relationship between her grandmother and great-grandmother, an outspoken socialite from Italy, inspires Liz to grow up and accept responsibility for her missteps. Eventually she must choose between the life she thought she wanted and the promise of something better.


Arden’s Thoughts: At first, I thought this book was another basic story of lessons from our legacy; if you don’t know your history you’re doomed to repeat it sorta thing. I kept reading The Legacy of Us because I liked the main character, Liz. I wanted to make sure she made good choices.

You see, Liz reminds me of so many women I encounter. Strong, beautiful, smart women who think they need someone to speak life into them before they believe in their full potential. For Liz, her champion was her grandmother. We’re thrust into the story in the moments following Liz learning her grandmother has suddenly died. In this crucial moment, our main character begins her journey into self-belief.

Throughout the book, we encounter Liz’s grandmother and great-grandmother as they each face decisions and become strong women in their own right. Their stories work well with the book, but it’s Liz fully emerging and owning her space in life that has me cheering for her. And for you and me.

I think I’m in a place similar to Liz. I need to own who I am, and Whose I am, before I can fully emerge as the business owner and inspirational leader God created. Many of us want someone to hold our hand, to lead us into that next step, but the truth is: No one can take the steps for us. We have to say ,”yes!” and walk into our destiny.

We toy around with Liz for a good part of the book, but we can feel she’s about to take her step. You’ll have to read the book to learn if she actually says, “yes!” or not.




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