Sometimes Daughter

Wood Emmons, Sherri

Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
ISBN 10: 0758253257 / ISBN 13: 9780758253255
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Synopsis: In this poignant and beautifully written novel, Sherri Wood Emmons, acclaimed author of Prayers and Lies, explores the complex bond between a daughter and her errant mother. . .

Judy Webster is born in a mud-splattered tent at Woodstock, just as Crosby, Stills, and Nash take the stage. Her mother, Cassie, is a beautiful, flawed flower-child who brings her little girl to anti-war protests and parties rather than enroll her in pre-school. But as Cassie's husband, Kirk, gradually abandons '60s ideals in favor of a steady home and a law degree, their once idyllic marriage crumbles.

Dragging Judy back from the Kentucky commune where Cassie has taken her, Kirk files for divorce and is awarded custody. When Cassie eventually moves to an ashram in India, Judy is grief-stricken. At school, she constructs lies to explain her unconventional home-life, trying desperately to fit in to the world her mother rejected.

Cassie calls and writes, occasionally entering Judy's life just long enough to disrupt it. But little by little, Judy is growing up. As she grapples with her father's remarriage and her own reckless urges, she encounters all the joy and heartbreak that goes with first love, first loss, sex, drugs, and self-discovery. And when Cassie comes home again, Judy, who has tried so long to find a place in her mother's life, must finally decide what place Cassie claims in hers. . .

Review: EMMONS, Sherri Wood. The Sometimes Daughter. 320p. Kensington. 2012. pap. $15. ISBN 978-0-7582-5325-5. LC number unavailable.
Adult/High School Her mother named her "Sweet Judy Blue Eyes," because Crosby, Stills & Nash were playing it when Judy was born in a tent at Woodstock. This unorthodox beginning heralded a childhood several steps removed from ordinary. Cassie filled her daughter's life with the exuberance of a free spirit. Young Judy cherishes the memories of her mother's bright skirts swirling as she dances; the fragrance of fresh herbs mingling with marijuana and incense filling their apartment; and the big-hearted adults happy to sit and play with her. When Cassie whisks Judy to a communal farm, however, her father comes to take her back home, much to her relief. Now she thrives in a stable life of school, birthday parties, and family dinners. Cassie remains distant, on her own adventures, making occasional, chaotic contact with Judy. Finally, after she has moved to California and borne another child, Judy realizes that her intense feelings towards her mother are composed of both love and fury. What kind of mother leaves her child as Cassie did? Teen readers may find themselves identifying alternately with Cassie, the eternal adolescent, and Judy, a young girl who struggles to maintain the normalcy of a home life. As Cassie tries on some of her generation's most foolish, idealistic guises (doped-up free love hippie, farm-commune free-love practitioner, member of Jim Jones's The Peoples Temple,) Judy longs for Cassie to return and simply be her mother. Teens who appreciated Lauren Myracle's Bliss (Amulet, 2008) or autobiographies by Augusten Burroughs and Jeannette Walls of dysfunctional family survivors should also enjoy this novel. ----Diane Colson, Palm Harbor Library, FL

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Title: Sometimes Daughter
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Book Condition: Good

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Wood Emmons, Sherri
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