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Mother Daughter Me: A Memoir Paperback – April 8, 2014
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When Hafner’s octogenarian mother, Helen, is no longer able to care for her ailing life partner in her San Diego home, Hafner hatches a brilliant plan: move Helen to San Francisco to live with her and her teenage daughter, Zoe. It seems like an ideal scenario. Hafner will have a chance to mend the tears in the fabric of her prickly relationship with her mother, whose years raising her daughter were marked by alcohol-fueled bouts of rage. And Zoe will become better acquainted with a grandmother she’s never really known. But immediately Zoe has concerns, namely, what will happen to her strong bond with her mom. (Since Zoe’s father died of a heart attack at 45, Zoe and her mother have grown remarkably close.) Zoe doesn’t simply tell me everything, says Hafner, she entrusts me with her fragile heart. Veteran journalist Hafner writes with compassion and wit about the often uneasy alliances between mothers and daughters and the surprising ways in which relationships can be redeemed even late in life. --Allison Block --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“The most raw, honest and engaging memoir I’ve read in a long time.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times
“A brilliant, funny, poignant, and wrenching story of three generations under one roof, unlike anything I have ever read.”—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“Weaving past with present, anecdote with analysis, [Katie] Hafner’s riveting account of multigenerational living and mother-daughter frictions, of love and forgiveness, is devoid of self-pity and unafraid of self-blame. . . . [Hafner is] a bright—and appealing—heroine.”—Cathi Hanauer, Elle
“[A] frank and searching account . . . Currents of grief, guilt, longing and forgiveness flow through the compelling narrative.”—Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle
“A touching saga that shines . . . We see how years-old unresolved emotions manifest.”—Lindsay Deutsch, USA Today
“[Hafner’s] memoir shines a light on nurturing deficits repeated through generations and will lead many readers to relive their own struggles with forgiveness.”—Erica Jong, People
“An unusually graceful story, one that balances honesty and tact . . . Hafner narrates the events so adeptly that they feel enlightening.”—Harper’s
“Heartbreakingly honest, yet not without hope and flashes of wry humor.”—Kirkus Reviews
“[An] emotionally raw memoir examining the delicate, inevitable shift from dependence to independence and back again.”—O: The Oprah Magazine (Ten Titles to Pick Up Now)
“Scrap any romantic ideas about what goes on when a 40-something woman invites her mother to live with her and her teenage daughter for a year. As Hafner hilariously and touchingly tells it, being the center of a family sandwich is, well, complicated.”—Parade
“Brilliant . . . Mother Daughter Me is a beautifully written, intimately provocative, and courageous unpeeling of the deep rhythms of love, hate, fear, and redemption in three generations of females. I love this book!”—Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain
“An emotional whodunit that uses brilliant journalistic acumen to crack the code of old family secrets.”—Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Uphill Walkers
“Heartbreakingly honest . . . In a narrative that skillfully moves between her present predicament and her difficult childhood, Hafner offers a compelling portrait of her remarkable mother and their troubled relationship.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Hafner writes with compassion and wit about the often uneasy alliance between mothers and daughters and the surprising ways in which relationships can be redeemed even late in life.”—Booklist
From the Hardcover edition.
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Hafner describes a childhood that you'd wish on no one - a household torn apart by divorce, she and her sister subsequently stripped from an alcoholic mother, thrown into a trying Brady Bunch-style blended family. After years spent trying to reconcile her conflicted feelings about her mother, Hafner's book details her attempts to bring her now aging, solitary Mom into her house in San Francisco. [Hafner's Pro Tip: Mixture of a mom with no filter and a 16-year-old, hormone-fueled daughter is maybe not such a hot idea for the generation in the middle.]
I'm struck by how artfully this memoir is constructed: While most of us would have written it chronologically, it hops back and forth between present and past, each visit to the past clearing up and filling in the "whys" for the events happening in the here and now. Like, for instance, I pieced together early on that this still beautiful, talented woman has been married four times and wondered "how on earth??" As the story unfolds in her skillful hands, it suddenly seems like the most, understandable natural progression. Brilliantly done, Katie.
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Totally unbelievable premonitions of death.Read more
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