The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Shipby Jacquelyn Mitchard
For years, readers of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel have been calling their mothers, boyfriends, and sisters to say, "See? That's exactly what I meant!" Now syndicated nationwide, Jacquelyn Mitchard's column, "The Rest of Us", charms her readers each week. In this wise and sparkling volume that collects more than a decade of dispatches, Mitchard's longtime readers and fans of her bestselling novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, can share the exuberant wisdom of a woman and a writer who has seen it all.
In the spirit of Judith Viorst, Anna Quindlen, and the late Erma Bombeck, Mitchard reaches for the heart and mind simultaneously. Spanning everything from gun laws and garage sales to teen telephone habits, The Rest of Us brings together the best of many years of writing and living.
There is no question that the late Bombeck is missed for her heartfelt and pungent commentaries. But the void that she has left does not have to be filled by an Erma manqué. Mitchard, author of the novel that Oprah turned into a bestseller, The Deep End of the Ocean (1996), is of another generation and another lifestyle, the now-single mother, one of whose children was adopted after her husband died. Her syndicated newspaper column is in some ways the shallow end of her ocean, although it deals with concerns that she will undoubtedly address in greater depth in future novels. The author proclaims that she and her audience are all those women who are not Martha Stewart, not the girlfriend who was both calculus prodigy and cheerleader, but "the rest of us." The column, she says, has been her anchor, the quasi-diary in which she begins to confront the questions of, for instance, death and adoption, both for herself and her children. But she also reflects onand occasionally skewerssuch concerns as women's magazines that herald make-work crafts (elves from detergent bottles) versus men's magazines that deal with really useful stuff (building shelves, repairing light fixtures), being expelled from the car pool, and meeting the mother of the baby you are about to adopt. Some of her reflections are funny, some aim for the jugular, some are genuinely moving, like those on life as a widow.
Cherry-picked from newspaper columns, this collection is necessarily formulaic in style and uneven in content. Read it, nevertheless: It's written by a woman who dredges for what matters.
- Viking Adult
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.30(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.94(d)
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