Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

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by Wednesday Martin
     
 

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A groundbreaking and truly stepmother-centered way of understanding the tensions that seem to define relations between women and their stepchildren

Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children. And what woman with stepchildren has not—in order to defuse the often overwhelming challenges of the role—referred to

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Overview

A groundbreaking and truly stepmother-centered way of understanding the tensions that seem to define relations between women and their stepchildren

Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children. And what woman with stepchildren has not—in order to defuse the often overwhelming challenges of the role—referred to herself as a "stepmonster"?

As Hope Edelman does in her book for motherless daughters, Wednesday Martin’s empowering and original Stepmonster unlocks the emotional mysteries of why stepmothers think and feel and act the way they do. Martin draws upon her own experience as a stepmother, interviews with other stepmothers and stepchildren, and fascinating insights from literature, anthropology, psychology, and evolutionary biology to reveal the little-understood realities of this most demanding role.

Stepmonster illuminates the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, considers the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, counteracts the cultural notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the challenges they encounter, identifies the "Five Step-Dilemmas That Create Conflict," and considers the emotional and social challenges men with children face when they remarry.

Finally, in an unexpected twist, Martin shows why the myth of the Wicked Stepmother is our single best tool for understanding who real stepmothers are and how they feel.

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Wednesday Martin holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale. She was a regular contributor to New York Post's parenting page for more than five years, and her work has appeared in a number of national magazines. Martin, a stepmother for nine years, lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fascinating... Informative and carefully researched." -Salon.com

"[Martin's] insights and advice are more clear and articulate than those offered in any other book on the subject that's currently available." -LA Examiner

"For women who find themselves in a similar family dynamic, Martin's book should come as a welcome relief, and proof that they are not alone." -Bust

Library Journal

Martin has written an eye-opening book about the world of stepfamilies, with a focus on the stepmother. Her well-researched work delves into the animal world, fairy tales, psychology, and sociobiology as she examines from every angle the myth that a well-blended, happy stepfamily is easy to achieve. Sometimes offering differing points of view, she describes examples from animal and bird families, demonstrating the great diversity throughout the animal kingdom and the behavior of many creatures in nonnuclear families. Many animals are not leading the life portrayed in The Brady Bunch any more than the people with whom Martin talked. While the author admits that there are some families who manage to work well, she was reassured in her own role as stepmother that the frustrations she has experienced are not at all uncommon. Stepmothers, no matter how hard they try, are battling odds that appear to be stacked against them. Martin's questions about the normality of her experience will help validate those who find themselves in a similar situation. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09.]
—Margaret Cardwell

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618758197
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/04/2009
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
120,612
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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