Author: Elissa Altman
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Published: August 6, 2019
Book Description: After surviving a traumatic childhood in nineteen-seventies New York and young adulthood living in the shadow of her flamboyant mother, Rita, a makeup-addicted former television singer, Elissa Altman has managed to build a very different life, settling in Connecticut with her wife of nearly twenty years. After much time, therapy, and wine, Elissa is at last in a healthy place, still orbiting around her mother but keeping far enough away to preserve the stable, independent world she has built as a writer and editor. Then Elissa is confronted with the unthinkable: Rita, whose days are spent as a flâneur, traversing Manhattan from the Clinique counters at Bergdorf to Bloomingdale’s and back again, suffers an incapacitating fall, leaving her completely dependent upon her daughter.
Now Elissa is forced to finally confront their profound differences, Rita’s yearning for beauty and glamour, her view of the world through her days in the spotlight, and the money that has mysteriously disappeared in the name of preserving youth. To sustain their fragile mother-daughter bond, Elissa must navigate the turbulent waters of their shared lives, the practical challenges of caregiving for someone who refuses to accept it, the tentacles of narcissism, and the mutual, frenetic obsession that has defined their relationship.
Motherland is a story that touches every home and every life, mapping the ferocity of maternal love, moral obligation, the choices women make about motherhood, and the possibility of healing. Filled with tenderness, wry irreverence, and unforgettable characters, it is an exploration of what it means to escape from the shackles of the past only to have to face them all over again.
Rating: 3 Stars
Review: This was a very quick memoir that I read in just over an hr. This is a memoir told from the daughter’ s point of view. Elissa and her mother Rita are very different. Her mother is a beautiful former TV Singer obsessed with appearances and Elissa could not be further from that. She is a Lesbian who lives with her wife and and has no concern for that.
Rita has an accident which makes Elissa confront her feeling towards her mother.
This quick book is witty and poignant. I enjoyed hearing Elissa’s perspective on the mother daughter relationship.
Thanks NetGalley and Ballentine Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.