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Under One Roof: How a Tough Old Woman in a Little Old House Changed My Life

Under One Roof: How a Tough Old Woman in a Little Old House Changed My Life [Kindle Edition]

Barry Martin , Philip Lerman
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £11.99
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Product Description


“Provides living proof that love often comes when it’s least expected, and most needed. . . . a testament to the power of friendship, no matter how different those friends may be. I couldn’t put it down.” —Dr. David Dosa, author of Making the Rounds with Oscar

“A story for the age we find ourselves in now, when we need to discover once again that our shared humanity is what we have in common, and it matters more than all those things that divide us.” —Don Snyder, author Of Time and Memory

Product Description

The heart-warming true story of the bond between a feisty octogenarian and the man in charge of building a shopping mall on top of her home – which inspired the opening scene of the Pixar movie Up!

Edith Macefield achieved folk hero status in 2006 when she turned down $1 million to sell her home to make way for a commercial development in a small neighborhood of Seattle. It didn’t matter that her tiny house was surrounded by rubble and graffiti. It was home. Barry Martin respected that, and when he took the job as construction supervisor for the shopping mall that was being erected around Edith’s little house, he determined to make things as easy as he could for Edith. He gave her his phone number and told her to call if she needed anything. And she did.
The day Edith asked Barry to drive her to a hair appointment, an unlikely friendship was sparked, one that changed them both forever. As Barry helps Edith through the last days of her life, she helps him deal with the effects of the Alzheimer’s that is diminishing his beloved father. She learns to laugh and let go. He learns about compassion and grace.
Full of heart and warmth, ‘Under One Roof’ is an true story that reminds us the most important things in life can’t be bought.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1023 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (13 Feb 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,612 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I could write two reviews of this book. One all about the lovely story it contains of a man selflessly helping an old lady through several years of illness and pushy property developers trying to buy her house.

I could also write a review about a man abandoning his own family to learn how to cope with the problems associated with the illness and old age of a stranger, in order to be prepared to be there for his own ageing parents.

Neither by itself is the true story, but both went through my mind as I read this book.

The truth is I only decided to read this book after I heard that it was the inspiration for the Pixar film 'Up'. I adore that film, the premise, the emotion behind it. And at the start of 'Under One Roof', I could see easily how the filmmakers were inspired by this story. Edith Wilson Macefield really was the little old lady who refused to sell her small home to shopping mall developers (for $.75 million), even as they were building around her. Barry Martin, as a new site manager, really was the man who started his job by dropping by to introduce himself, and gradually became both Edith's friend and carer.

That element of the story is lovely - Barry was, it seems, never there to persuade Edith to sell her home, but only wanted to help her out. It starts with a phone call to ask if he'd take her to the hairdressers. As the eighty-four year old starts to decline however, Barry ends up cooking her meals, organising and driving her to doctors' appointments, being almost a full-time carer.

And that's where I started to feel uncomfortable. It was all very selfless, noble and lovely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An old lady takes on the developers 9 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Every so often there will be a story in the newspapers about a new building development being held up because one of the existing tenants refuses to move. I suppose the most famous instance of this in the UK was when the M62 had to be built around a farm because the farmer concerned didn’t fancy plying his trade elsewhere (actually this is an urban myth; the motorway was always intended to be built around the farm). This book is about a relationship that develops when the plans for a big new shopping centre have to be altered when the owner of the last house standing turns down offers to move in excess of million dollars, meaning that they have to build around her.

The author of this book, Barry Martin, was the construction supervisor for the company building the shopping centre. When one day he decided to make a courtesy visit to the occupier of the property, 85 year old Edith Macefield, he was about to embark on an unlikely friendship that would become a life changer, and not just because in the following months he would spend an ever increasing amount of time tending to her needs, often at the expense of his own family.

He finds that Miss Macefield is a remarkable woman. Even in her advanced years she is a feisty, fiercely independent lady, but as her health deteriorates she becomes more and more reliant on her newly found friend. At first he simply offers her companionship but it soon becomes much more than that, gradually assuming the roles of her chauffeur, cook, housekeeper and carer. He is intrigued also by her past; she talks in passing of having relatives and being the lover of a famous Austrian tenor, and her exploits in World War II seem as if they could form the basis of a Hollywood movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read 13 July 2014
Really interesting making you think about how we view and value people as they get decrepit. I would love an historian to get onto this story and see what they could verify.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book about compassion 24 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
A bitter sweet book about friendship and unselfishness ,kindness and lessons in life .an emotional read with laugh out loud moments
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read. 31 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable. What a brilliant book. I really enjoyed it, so much so I couldn't put it down, Very reflective.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring read. 25 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful man the author is! Without blowing his own trumpet, you get the feel of a genuinely nice man.

And what a wonderful character the old lady is, wish I could have met her. What a great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super read 19 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Smashing read....a true story about a warm human relationship between two complete opposite people.Buy it,I don't think you will regret it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming 30 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
A true story that shows there are people in this world who go the extra mile for the elderly in their neighbourhood
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