BAD MOTHER RULE #1: NEVER, EVER , DO WHAT I DID!
For seventeen-year-old Charlotte Cooper, it’s too late. Despite her best efforts to finish school, tune out her angry, slightly hysterical mother, and cope with her loving but dotty grandmother, she is unexpectedly (now that’s an understatement) pregnant. And don’t even mention the jerk who knocked her up.
Charlotte’s mother, Karen, is trying to convince herself that there are worse things than becoming a grandmother at thirty-three. For instance, there’s wanting to kill Charlotte for the mess she’s made of her life. Between struggling to pay the bills and halfheartedly filling out questionnaires on Internet dating sites, Karen uncovers a scandalous family secret involving her own birth, and then falls back into bed with her sexy ex-husband. So much for perfect timing.
In the meantime, Karen’s mother, Nan, is having a wee bit of trouble with names (sometimes her own). But that doesn’t keep her from retaining a few things she’d rather forget. Of course, Nan knows that everything will work out fine for Charlotte and the baby–these things usually do. Now, if only she could put the pieces of her own fragmented memory together, she might have an interesting tale or two to share.
In this wickedly funny, disarmingly moving novel, three generations of mothers learn that it’s the simplest mistakes that can change your life forever. With wit and wisdom, Kate Long proves that there are as many kinds of mothers as there are daughters, but the love that binds them all is what truly matters.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Bad Mother's Handbook|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Bad Mother's Handbook
When I was twelve I fell and broke my elbow. It was election day 1929, and we were mucking about on top of the wall by the polling station. It was about six feet up and you were all right as long as you sat astride the copestone, only I’d turned sidesaddle so as to spot the people who’d voted Conservative; my dad said you could see it in their faces. Jimmy nudged me and we started singing:
“Vote! Vote! Vote for Alec Sharrock,
He is sure to win the day.
And we’ll get a salmon tin
And we’ll put the Tory in
And he’ll never see his mother any more.”
I swung my legs to make the words come out better, and the next thing I knew I was sprawled on the ground with my arm underneath me. Jimmy tried to make a sling out of the yellow muslin banners we’d been waving, but I screamed and he started to cry in panic. It hurt so much I was afraid to get up in case I left my arm on the floor.
The following day, when we heard the Labor Party’d got in, Dad got so drunk he couldn’t open the back gate.
“I’ll go and let him in,” Jimmy volunteered.
“You’ll not!” said Mother. “Leave him where he is.”
So I lay on the sofa with my arm all strapped up and watched him struggle. Finally he fell over and my mother drew the curtains on him.
It was funny, we’d never known him to touch a drop before.
His vices lay in other directions.
The day after it happened, everything seemed normal. Even from behind my bedroom door, I could hear Mum going on at Nan. She tries not to get cross, but it’s the only emotion my ...