Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Rest of Her Life

I received a pre-pub copy of a book by a new young writer named Laura Moriarty. The back cover had recommendations by two of my favorite writers--Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard, so that was enough to make me want to read it. About two chapters into the book, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading it because the plot is basically about a family whose world is shattered after their 18 year old daughter hits and kills a young girl. The daughter was talking on her cell phone and ran a stop sign.

As the mother of two girls, 22 and 19, this seemed a bit too close to home. I have a dear friend who lost her daughter at age 16 in a car accident that also killed a man and his two little boys.

But the story goes beyond the tragedy and examines the mom--her life, her childhood, her relationship with her children. I have often said jokingly that I think that a mother's guilt must begin at conception. This book is a touching reminder that every mother deals daily with guilt and with trying to be "a good mother." Young author Laura Moriarty, with a three year old daughter, shares the complex dance of emotions with a surprising wisdom far beyond her years. This is a great book for a discussion group.

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