Washington Square Press Reprint
Remember when you were a teenager and certain things your parents did make you embarrassed to even be alive? I arrived home from my homecoming dance at the high school to find my parents and their guests (they were having a party) sitting on the floor, all drunk as skunks, or at least it seemed so to me. So much for impressing my date.

Lissy Jablonski was similarly embarrassed when her mother started opening up to her about her personal life one summer when Lissy was 15 years old. The occasion was the departure of Mr. Jablonsky in the company of the “redheaded bank teller” for a period later referred to by his wife as “the summer that never happened”.

During this period, Lissy’s mom dropped her genteel facade and reverted to her roots as a “fish shop owner’s daughter.” Seeking diversion, Mrs. Jablonski carted Lissy along on a series of visits and adventures that became deeply imprinted on her psyche.

As she looks back on that summer from her perspective as an almost-30-year-old advertising executive who is pregnant by a married ex-lover, she is able to gain some perspective and understanding that helps her decide on what to do.

Writer Julianna Baggott shows great writing ability and insight and delivers plenty of material which will cause you to laugh out loud while reading. Here’s a quote that really stuck with me:

People of my generation and social and educational background are fluent in cocktail Freudian theory, maybe even are able to speak a little pidgin Jung, enough to throw out the word archetypal. We’re a generation of crackpot analysts, self-analyzing. Imagine the horrifying array of self-haircuts there’d be if we all thought we were professional hair stylists because we owned a pair of scissors. Now replace haircuts with psyches. It’s not a pretty picture.
This book is for anyone who has never been able to quite reconcile her mother as a mother with her mother as an independent person (or who has, and appreciates what this involves). Equally, it is for anyone who just likes well-developed characters in a well-written tale.

See also the author’s website.

See also an interview with the author.

This book is also available at Amazon.co.uk

Other books by this author, or related books if none are available: