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The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter

by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-65163-3
Publisher: St. Martin's

Slice-of-life vignettes from a mother-daughter duo.

Bestselling novelist Scottoline (Save Me, 2011, etc.) and daughter Serritella—who write the Chick Wit column at the Philadelphia Inquirer and have co-authored two previous books of nonfiction (Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, 2009, etc.)—share a similar anecdotal style, bemusement and brevity. Writing in the tradition of American humorists such as Erma Bombeck, they consider events with aplomb, from “Twitterific flirting” to the hazards of dog walking, from the pain of trading in a favorite car to the complexities of aging. Recurrent subjects include Mother Mary (Scottoline’s opinionated, Italian mother), pets, travel through airport terminals, fashion and the universality of mother-daughter relationships. On the latter, Scottoline writes, “I have a scientific theory that the bonds that tie mothers and daughters are love and worry, like the two strands in the double helix of some very twisty DNA.” Such broad strokes can be attributed to the escapist nature of the work; these writings are not intended as more than amusing morsels, and most problems portrayed are minor. The authors allow readers to recognize themselves in familiar circumstances and to smile at their self-deprecating approach. Though the majority of entries are written by Scottoline, the handful by Serritella are noteworthy for the counterpoint they provides—she offers a younger generation’s perspective on the everyday. 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.