Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter
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Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter

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by Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella
     
 

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In Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, are the best of friends—99.9% of the time. They're number one on each other's speed dial and they tell each other everything—well, almost everything. They share shoes and clothes—except one very special green

Overview

In Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, are the best of friends—99.9% of the time. They're number one on each other's speed dial and they tell each other everything—well, almost everything. They share shoes and clothes—except one very special green jacket, which almost caused a catfight.

In other words, they're just like every mother and daughter in the world. Best friends and occasional enemies. Now they're dishing about it all: their lives, their relationship, and their carb count.

Lisa on Being a Mom: Motherhood has no expiration date. Francesca lives in the city, and I worry about her all the time. My daughter moved out, so why am I still lactating?

Francesca on Being a Daughter: My mother is always right. Just ask her.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Feels like one big gabfest with your best girlfriends, whatever their age. The tell-all twosome have yet again opened their hearts and homes, cooking up a huge helping of laughs, sprinkled with a few tears and a dash of motherly love--and it all goes down deliciously.” —Booklist

“[A] witty and sweet return to the ins and outs of life in this sometimes kooky, always smart and funny, family.” —Publishers Weekly

“Black-and-white family photographs lend a homey feel to the experience, which culminates in a reminder to mothers and daughters that friendship between them can last a lifetime. A treat for fans of observational humor.” —Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Scottoline and up-and-comer Serritella are mother and daughter as well as BFFs—most of the time. In this third collection of essays based on their weekly “Chick Lit” column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, the duo chat about what it’s like to be a mother and daughter who share interests, clothes, and dating woes, plus the occasional dustup. However, Scottoline writes, conflict is good, because “that valve releases the pressure from the combustible engine that is the mother-daughter relationship.” She warns about being mindful of tone (aka “kryptonite”), and notes that apologies are vital, because “Families need each other. Like oxygen.” For her part, Serritella writes of the warmth of having family and friends who refrain from I-told-you-sos after an ill-advised romance and a mother who taught her about keeping the heating bills low... even if it means a cold apartment. Other essays address everything from the hazards of suburbia to the death of a beloved dog Mother Mary and Brother Frank are back, too, in this witty and sweet return to the ins and outs of life in this sometimes kooky, always smart and funny, family. (Dec.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250013866
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
09/18/2012
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
221,296
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

BEST FRIENDS, OCCASIONAL ENEMIES (Chapter 1)

The Occasional Enemies Part

By Lisa

Daughter Francesca and I are very close, but that doesn’t mean we don’t fight.

On the contrary, it means we do.

So if you’re currently fighting with your daughter, or merely fussing from time to time, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s start with the notion that the no-fighting model isn’t the best for mother-daughter relations. I know so many women who feel bad, guilty, or inferior because they fight with their daughters, and they needn’t. To them, and to you, I say, flip it.

What?

Flip that notion on its head. If you fight with your daughter, you raised her to think independently from you, and to voice her own views.

Yay!

You’re a great mother. Know why?

Because the world doesn’t reward the timid. Especially if they have ovaries.

In my opinion, conflict between mother and daughter is normal and good. Not only that, it’s love. I say this not as a social scientist, which I’m not, but as a real-life mother, which I so am. So if your daughter is fighting with you, here’s the good and bad news:

The good news is you raised her right.

The bad is you have a headache.

Forever.

Just kidding.

Francesca and I are best friends, but at times, we’re at odds. Enemies, only momentarily. Like most mothers and daughters, we’re so attuned to each other’s words and gestures that even the arching of an eyebrow can convey deep meaning.

If somebody plucks, we’re in trouble.

We never have really huge fights, but we have car rides to New York that can feel as if they last cross-country.

Wars of words.

We go on and on, each replying to the other, swept along in a girl vortex of words, during which we parse every nuance of every syllable, with special attention to tone.

Tone is the kryptonite of mother-daughter relationships.

As in, “I don’t like your tone.”

Also, “Don’t use that tone with me.”

And the ever-popular, “It wasn’t what you said, it was your tone.”

It was ever thus. Francesca and I got along great from the time she came out of the egg, and I used to tell her that she wasn’t allowed to whine, but she could argue with me. In other words, make her case for whatever she wanted.

Never mind that she was three at the time.

Oddly, this turned out great. She was the Perry Mason of toddlers, and more often than not, she was right. Or she felt completely heard, which was often enough for kiddie satisfaction. She argued for punch balls from the gift shop at the zoo, dessert before dinner if she ate all her dinner, and the wearing of Cinderella outfits on an almost daily basis, complete with tiara.

What girl doesn’t want a tiara?

Another thing I did when she was little was to let her vent. I had no idea how I came upon this idea, but I used to give her the chance to say anything she wanted to me, without interruption, for a full minute.

And I mean, anything.

She was even permitted to curse at me, though she didn’t know any profanity at that age. It got only as rude as “butt face.”

Ouch?

She’s still permitted to argue with me and vent her anger. And she accords me the same permission. Even though we’re writing books together and we adore each other, we can still get mad at each other. And that valve releases the pressure from the combustible engine that is the mother-daughter relationship.

It’s just hot air, anyway.

Bottom line, we’re close, so we fight, and the converse is also true. The conflict strengthens us, because it’s honesty, hard-earned.

And the more honest we are with each other, the closer we are. You’ll see exactly what I mean, in the pages that follow.

So enjoy.

And watch your tone.

BEST FRIENDS, OCCASIONAL ENEMIES. Copyright 2011 by Smart Blonde, LLC, and Francesca Scottoline Serritella.

Meet the Author

LISA SCOTTOLINE is the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award--winning author of twenty novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, and she has been published in thirty-five countries. She has served as President of the Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Philadelphia with an array of disobedient pets.

FRANCESCA SERRITELLA graduated cum laude from Harvard University, where she won the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize, the Le Baron Russell Briggs Fiction Prize, and the Charles Edmund Horman Prize for her creative writing. She is working on a novel, and she lives in New York with only one dog, so far.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Birth:
July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Website:
http://www.scottoline.com

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Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life As a Mother and Daughter 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book and love Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca. Very funny stories/essays (and some emotional/poignant ones). Quick, easy and overall funny read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From the title i thought it would be more of a mother/daughter story not just a collection of random stories about being old
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