The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship

The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship

by Jacquelyn Mitchard
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mitchard, a speechwriter, editor and novelist (The Deep End of the Ocean), has collected selections from her weekly newspaper column written for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel over the last 12 years. Her entertaining and thought-provoking commentaries on life as a working mother of five cover a variety of subjects. Women will identify with her witty essay "Giving Holidays to the Turkeys," on celebrations like Thanksgiving, which men regard as "relaxing" while their wives toil in the kitchen. Many pieces discuss experiences inherent in motherhood, such as whether, or when, to lie to one's children. Mitchard also presents her strong opinions on current topics, including assisted suicide, adoption, meat eating and gun control. Of particular interest, however, is a moving article, "A Star to Steer By," written after the death of her 45-year-old husband from cancer.
Kirkus Reviews
A beguiling collection of sometimes insightful, often amusing columns from a mother of five who is also a widow, a bestselling author, and not Erma Bombeck.

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 on—and occasionally skewers—such 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780670876624
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Publication date:
11/01/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.94(d)

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