Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Mother Daughter Show by Natalie Wexler

A satire set in a milieu closely resembling Washington, D.C.'s Sidwell Friends School, where President Obama's daughters are enrolled, THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER SHOW invites readers into the world of one of the country’s most elite private schools. At the novel’s Barton Friends School, which also houses a Presidential daughter, we meet the mothers who come together—not always in a unified fashion—for the song-and-dance revue they produce and perform as a valentine for their graduating girls, a real event at Sidwell that Wexler has experienced firsthand.

At Barton Friends, a D.C. prep school so elite its parent body includes the President and First Lady, three mothers throw themselves into the annual musical review. Will its Machiavellian intrigue somehow enable them to reconnect with their graduating daughters, who are quickly spinning out of control?

This book was every bit as fabulous as I thought it would be. These mothers are three very different types of people who each have approached life in their own manner. Each one has a unique and precarious relationship with her daughter. Though the process of the show is fascinating and entertaining at the very least, what drew me to the story was watching as each woman, both young and old, grew up.

For me, this was a great character study. Though you can read it at face value and have a thoroughly enjoyable read, taking the time to figure out each character's motivation and what I would do in the situation kept me reading and pondering. Since you get to see the story from each character's point of view, it brings to mind that there really are three sides to every story. We're given the characters' sides and then we get to decide for ourselves who really is in the right and who is well...less right.

I strongly suggest this book for every mother out there. It's inevitable that as our children grow, our relationship with them changes. This book takes an important look at those changes and what we, as parents, can actually do about it.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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