"Looking at her, small and shriveled, you wondered how that emaciated, frail body -- how all of us, with our little shrinking outsides -- could contain such tenacity, integrity, ability. Betty showed the whole world that we can. It was an inspiration to watch." p.184Debby in her 50's, her mother Phyllis in her 80's. Debby, divorced, grown daughter, moves back to Columbus OH to be more of a companion to her mother after her father dies. Initially her mother is very vibrant and active, and actually writes her first book (on widowhood) at age 82. But over time, Phyllis becomes more frail and needy. However, they don't actually live together, just close by and talk by phone several times a day, and usually see each other every day. Chronicles their stories for a few years. Half of each chapter is written by Debby (somewhat annoying bohemian type) and half by Phyllis (seemingly the superior literary writer). Mostly they enjoy each other's company and the overall message is upbeat (the bonus years with Mom), but there is also the reality of the stress and anxiety that goes along with such a relationship, which is basically a death watch as Phyllis gets older. Phyllis has not died by the end of the book, and to my knowledge is still alive.