The Ethical Will: Background information when reading Happier Endings

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Happier Endings

A Meditation on Life and Death

by Erica Brown

Happier Endings by Erica Brown X
Happier Endings by Erica Brown
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2013, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Ethical Will

Print Review

The author of Happier Endings believes that creating an ethical will is an important part of facing and diminishing the fear of death. She includes an appendix with prompts designed to inspire readers to at least begin this potentially intimidating document, and then to work on it a little bit at a time. An ethical will differs from the traditional assets-focused will in that it communicates lessons and values rather than specific financial instructions. Formats and contents of ethical wills vary as much as people do; personal letters, miniature life histories, bullet-pointed advice and intangible bequests are all options.

Jacob and RachelThe American Association of Retired Persons' caregiving guide on ethical wills recommends that they be shared with recipients while the will's writer is still alive. According to the reference companion Jewish Religion (Louis Jacobs, 1995), the idea of passing on traditions and values to family before death may have originated in the Old Testament era when male heads of families often verbally communicated religious and practical instructions to their descendants prior to death. Jacob's instructions to his sons, recorded in the Biblical book of Genesis, are often cited as the first example of this tradition. The contemporary written version of an ethical will appears later in history during the Middle Ages.

Ethical WillsThe book Ethical Wills: A Modern Jewish Treasury by Jack Riemer and Nathaniel Stampfer is cited by Erica Brown in Happier Endings and is often recommended in other books as both potential inspiration and plain good reading on this subject. Copies of the title for purchase seem scarce, however, so interested readers should check with their local libraries for borrowing possibilities.

The Carolina State University journal, The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, has a concise introduction to the ethical will.

Jacob and Rachel by William Dyce

Article by Stacey Brownlie

This article was originally published in May 2013, and has been updated for the April 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Story of Arthur Truluv
    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg
    Elizabeth Berg's heartwarming novel scored an an impressive 4.4 average rating from the 48 members ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

In war there are no unwounded soldiers

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.