Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Under One Roof

Under One Roof

Lessons I Learned from a Tough Old Woman in a Little Old House

Barry Martin with Philip Lerman

St. Martin's Press




Sometimes people aren't who you think they are.

Everyone knew what was going on in Ballard, Washington: developers were building a giant shopping mall, but a house belonging to a feisty octogenarian named Edith Wilson Macefield was in the way. They offered her a million dollars. She told them to take a hike.

Everyone knew that Barry Martin, head of the construction project, was involved in the push to get her out of the house so that the project could proceed without further delay.

Everyone was wrong.

When Barry 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 for her as he could. He didn't expect that she'd ask him to drive her to a hair appointment—but he did offer to help, after all. And it was in that one small gesture that an unlikely friendship was sparked, one that changed them both forever.

The story of Barry Martin and Edith Macefield is a tale of balance and compassion, of giving enough without giving too much, of helping our elderly loved ones through the tough times without taking away their dignity. In the end, Under One Roof is a tale of grace, and one from which all of us can take solace and strength. From Barry and Edith we have much to learn about love and letting go and, just possibly, about seeing through fading light to find great joy.



I finally moved the cookies.
They were Walkers Pure Butter Shortbread cookies, the only brand of cookies Edith liked. They came from Scotland, and when you would eat them it was like you just ate a tab of butter. I remember she...


Praise for Under One Roof

“Told with frankness and sincerity, Martin, with the assistance of former USA Today editor Lerman, skillfully blends his deep desire to aid Edith with his frustrations with this cantankerous woman, his need to spend time with his own children and wife, and his thoughts and feelings toward his ailing parents. With a bit of humor and the determination to do right by this stranger-turned-close friend, Martin was able to help Edith do as she wished . . . A tender tribute to Edith and her will to do things her way.” —Kirkus

“Martin's memoir of his relationship with Edith is heartfelt and homespun. The wisdom he shares--you figure out the right thing to do, and you do it--will undoubtedly resonate with and inspire others struggling to care for elderly relatives or friends.” —Booklist

“UNDER ONE ROOF provides living proof that love often comes when it's least expected, and most needed. This heartwarming book is 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

“This lovely tale reminds us that in the rush of our liveswe might suddenly turn a corner and meet a stranger who delivers us to a deeper understanding of our place and purpose in the world. Barry Martin has written 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

Under One Roof is a charming story and a blueprint for how to deal lovingly with the aging process. With compassion and humanity, Barry takes care of Edith and lets her make her own choices. Poignant and highly readable.” —Father Pat Connor, author of Whom Not to Marry: Time-Tested Advice from a Higher Authority

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Barry Martin with Philip Lerman

BARRY MARTIN has supervised construction projects all of his life, following in the footsteps of his father; and is a great lover of hunting, fishing, and the great outdoors, a love he inherited from his father as well. He is a native of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, two children, and new grandchild.

PHILIP LERMAN is a writer and producer in Washington, DC. He is the former national editor of USA Today and former co-executive producer of America's Most Wanted.

Barry Martin

Barry Martin

Philip Lerman

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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