Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Lies My Mother Never Told Me Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 25, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, Deckle Edge
"Please retry"
$1.99 $0.01

Self-paced course for SAT
Prep whenever you want, for as long as you need. Learn more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Accomplished author Jones (A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries), daughter of famed literary figure James Jones, has spent most of her life avoiding the twin parental legacies of fame and alcoholism. In this brilliant, touching memoir, Jones faces both head-on. Jones explores her life, from her childhood in France, surrounded by the greatest literary minds of the age, to her troubled adulthood, seeking a way independent of the great minds that sired her. Looming throughout is Jones's larger-than-life mother-charming, caustic and alcoholic. As Jones wrestles with her own alcohol issues, coming out sober and strong, her relationship with her mother (long in denial) continues to deteriorate. Absolutely addictive, this story of struggle and triumph is a joy to read, thanks to Jones's gift for handling dark material with humor and grace. A rare child of privilege capable of looking on herself and her family objectively, Jones has produced a memoir will be a treasure for fans of literature and literary memoirs, as well as anyone who's coped with alcoholics in the family.


“A bright, fast-paced memoir with an inviting spirit. There is real immediacy to the family portraits here....There’s also great daughterly love for James Jones, as his daughter sometimes insists on referring to him, and palpable pride in his achievements. ” (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

“Unadorned, poignant and honest to the core, Kaylie Jones’ memoir is a light emerging from the shadows of a writing life.” (Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin)

“Searing, brutally honest....What makes Lies My Mother Never Told Me such an uplifting book despite all the pain and turmoil it recounts is its revelation of how Kaylie Jones has matured as a person in dealing with her twin legacies, literary and alcoholic, and also as a writer.” (Washington Times)

“Brilliant, touching…. Absolutely addictive, this story of struggle and triumph is a joy to read, thanks to Jones’s gift for handling dark material with humor and grace…. a treasure for fans of literature and literary memoirs, as well as anyone who’s coped with alcoholics in the family.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First Edition edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061778702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061778704
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Qanta Ahmed on March 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I had the great good fortune to discover 'Lies My Mother Never Told Me' earlier on this month. I picked up the book after a busy day of meetings and began to read, unwinding from a hectic day. Soon I was engrossed, and despite the lateness of the hour, had to read deep into the night. The next day I returned to it, setting my work aside and a day later finished it in a final sitting. I shed unseen tears in the fluorescent ignominy of a nail salon as I reached the poignant ending of the book. Ms.Jones writes with a brutal honesty and integrity which can only be the hard won prize of true introspection born of searing intensity and courage.

As a practicing physician, I have diagnosed, attended, treated and sadly even pronounced many, many alcoholics who often evoke in me a deep sense of pathos and loss. In my opinion, this book captures the other side of the conversation and is truly instructive toward healing the divide between alcoholism and hapless medical physicians who often cannot identify, empathize or begin to understand the invisible alcoholics who are all too often unacknowledged, overlooked in our offices. Instead we engage in a masquerade of treating a more socially acceptable illness, a skin infection or a dental abcess, all the while overlooking the alcoholic who is often desperate to be released through the rebirth a diagnosis could really provide.

The day after I finished the book I attended my usual afternoon office hours. The first patient who entered was a woman I had recently identified as newly relapsed into active alcoholism. She and I talked about our last meeting some weeks earlier, and, after a few minutes, I wrote down the title of this book and the name of the author, insisting my patient read this.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Kaylie Jones' (p 27) sums up her alcoholic, socialite mother's thoughts about her thusly, "I annoyed and bored my mother to distraction, and elicited from her the most soul-shattering cruelty--the kind only a mother can inflict." Like her father, Ms. Jones (born in 1960) became a writer. And it sounds like her father felt similarly about his own mother as she did about hers. In the preface to her father's collection of short stories The Ice-Cream Headache and Other Stories, "TICH" Ms. Jones claims that (p ii), "he hated--passionately hated--his mother Ada." The Jones family of four (the couple adopted a boy the same age as their biological daughter when he was four) lived in France until moving to the States in 1974. Lies My Mother Never Told Me contains plenty of Jones family members' interactions with famous literati as well as entertaining, often expletive-filled, anecdotes about her parents. In the second chapter she tells of her father's upbringing and discusses the contents of TICH (much of the same stuff can be found in the preface she wrote for the collection). Things changed for the family after James Jones' diagnosis with a serious heart condition. She shares details of her educational experiences, writing career, romance, dabble in drugs, and alcohol dependence and delves deep into the near-Mommy Dearest theme. Fortunately, her mother was always there with a helping handout ((p 81), "My mother always gave me money when I needed it. Always;" (p 123), "She rescued me with a $20,000 check;" and (p 153) "Through a friend of hers, we'd found a psychiatrist, and since I didn't have health insurance, my mother was helping me pay for the sessions." Unfortunately, she never seemed to win her battle with the bottle.Read more ›
1 Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
From the opening word of her memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, to the final punctuation, Kaylie Jones puts her life in full view for all the world to read knowing full well her self-esteem, dignity, and emotional health will cannon fodder and become casualties of war. A war fought on the home front that ambushes, out flanks, and attacks her head on. The enemy is alcoholism and Gloria Jones, Kaylie's mother, is the face of that adversary. Being the daughter of a WWII veteran, Kaylie soldiers on to resurrect her life from the ashes of the battlefield.
Although Gloria Jones may be seen as an evil character from a Disney movie, Kaylie portrays her realistically, yet tactfully does not post blame. Gloria, despite her horrible comments to Kaylie throughout her life is seen for her physical beauty, grace, sense of humor, and addiction that consumes the real Gloria and those around her. The brutal honesty in which Kaylie writes is an attribute to her as a writer, person, and healer. How does a child hearing numerous times, "If I had to pick between having your father of having you, I would pick your father" and not be cut to the core? This sets the pattern of verbal abuse Kaylie endures at the hands of her mother's addiction. It would be easy for Kaylie to blame her mother, but she doesn't. Kaylie does what all children of alcoholics or children whose parents are divorcing do. She blames herself and suppresses the hurt and anger in order to keep the peace. Having had years of experience, therapy, a supporting husband, and a tough, strong-willed, and insightful daughter, Kaylie is able to filter through the rubble and never place blame, but enlighten us to the true evil mustache-twisting antagonist, alcohol.
Kaylie, herself, turned to the bottle as a way to cope with life.
Read more ›
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews