Saturday, July 7, 2012

Guest Post from The Mother Daughter Show author, Natalie Wexler

I am thrilled to welcome Natalie Wexler, author of The Mother Daughter Show. I am a mother, daughter, and mother of three daughters, so I am excited to read this book.

Natalie Wexler is the author of The Mother Daughter Show (Fuze Publishing 2011) and an award-winning historical novel, A More Obedient Wife. She is a journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post Magazine, the American Scholar, the Gettysburg Review, and other publications, and she is a reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has also worked as a temporary secretary, a newspaper reporter, a Supreme Court law clerk, a legal historian, and (briefly) an actual lawyer. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband.


Do What I Say, Not What I Do

It’s undeniable that all children—sons and daughters both—absorb much of their code of behavior from observing their parents. And maybe that’s particularly true of mothers and daughters. After all, we often look alike. We have many of the same experiences, despite the changes wrought by time. And we’re often tuned into each other emotionally. So, whether they’re conscious of it or not, daughters look to their mothers’ behavior for guidance about what kind of person they are—or should be. For us mothers, that can be a heavy responsibility, since none of us are perfect.

In my novel, The Mother Daughter Show, I have three main female characters, each of whom has a teenage daughter—and each of whom has a mother of her own. One of the reasons I wanted that multi-generational aspect was to explore how our mothering styles are often shaped by the kind of mothering we ourselves experienced, whether we want that to happen or not.

Two of my characters—Barb and Susan—have mothers who are controlling and manipulative, and both are determined not to replicate that behavior with their own daughters. Barb goes so far in the opposite direction that her daughter is running wild. And Susan, without realizing it, is just as controlling with her daughter as her mother was with her (or at least, she’s trying to be!).

My third character, Amanda, has a mother who so smothered her with attention and praise that Amanda’s reaction was to shrink from her. Now Amanda’s own adolescent daughter is doing the same thing—and Amanda can’t see the reason is that, like Susan, she’s unwittingly reproduced her own mother’s overpowering kind of love.

Of course, mothers don’t just influence the way their daughters behave with their own children. Perhaps even more important is the influence mothers have on the way their daughters interact with the rest of the world.

Because The Mother Daughter Show is a satire, none of my main characters is a model of mature behavior for her daughter or anyone else—the novel wouldn’t be funny if they were. In fact, it’s the daughters who behave better than the mothers, standing loyally by their friends while their mothers are stabbing each other in the back. And it’s the daughters’ example that ultimately leads the mothers to recognize what’s really important in life.

And maybe, for a mother, that’s the ultimate reward: to realize that—possibly as a result of your own example, in your best moments—your daughter has become the kind of person you yourself would like to be.

The Mother Daughter Show Summary

At Barton Friends a D.C. prep school so elite its parent body includes the President and First Lady - three mothers have thrown themselves into organizing the annual musical revue. Will its Machiavellian intrigue somehow enable them to reconnect with their graduating daughters, who are fast spinning out of control?

By turns hilarious and poignant, The Mother Daughter Show will appeal to anyone who's ever had a daughter - and anyone who's ever been one.

The Book Trailer

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A special thank you to Nicole at Tribute Books for including me in this blog tour. For more information on Tribute Books Blog Tours, please visit their Facebook page.


Natalie Wexler said...

Thanks so much for hosting me!

Tia Bach said...

My pleasure. I can't wait to read your book!

Tribute Books said...

Tia, thanks for featuring Natalie. I'm glad you two got to connect :)

Tia Bach said...

Thank you, Nicole. I'm looking forward to reading the book!