Mother Daughter Me, by Katie Hafner

Mother+Daughter+MeThis memoir describes Hafner’s attempt to share living space with her aging mother and teenaged daughter for a year, despite a difficult past relationship with her alcoholic mother. The memoir moves back and forth between the present and the past and realistically depicts the stresses and strains of having three generations under one roof. None of the three women comes across as entirely a victim or a hero: each of them tries in her own way to make the relationship work, but each also makes mistakes that keep it from working. This story was interesting and sometimes moving, but I was disappointed to learn at the end (I can’t remember if it was in an epilogue or in acknowledgements) that Hafner’s mother was opposed to her publishing the memoir. It raised the question of whether, for a writer, documenting an experience is worth risking the very relationship you’ve worked so hard to build.

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Filed under Nonfiction -- memoir

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