Book Review: The Sometimes Daughter

Monday, October 19, 2015

On my work trip earlier this month, I had a short flight, which didn't provide a movie since we were on a regional jet. I think my flight was less than 2 hours both ways. So before my trip, I snagged a discount book at Barnes and Noble (yep, they still exist) and also brought along my Kindle, which I didn't even use on the trip. Sometimes I just like the feeling of turning the pages and the accomplishment of actually working your way through the book instead of tracking it through a percentage of completion.

Anyways, so I grabbed a book called The Sometimes Daughter by Sherri Wood Emmons and thought it had a really interesting premise. Basically it's a story around a mother-daughter relationship that's distant and abandoning at times ... much like my own life story.

Sweet Judy was born during Woodstock, during a Crosby, Stills and Nash performance to her 19 year old mother, Cassie. Cassie was an ultimate free-spirit. She loved music, smoking pot, and dancing. She enjoyed free love, and although a fun mom - wasn't the best wife to Judy's father, Kirk. As the years passed, Cassie's husband seemed to "grow up" and be interested in his own education and building a career. So, he attended law school during the evenings. Meanwhile, Judy and her mother enjoyed late nights jamming out to bands, multiple visitors in and out of their home and a Cassie that refused to grow up. This caused a wedge between Cassie and Kirk - eventually driving Cassie away from the marriage and in search of a community of acceptance and other free-spirited individuals.

The novel tracks Judy's life and follows as Cassie dips in and out of Judy's life - always an unstable character in the young girl's life. Judy bounces back and forth between natural love for her mother, and feelings of abandonment and insecurity in her mother's decision making and care for her own child. My heart ached for her, as I could relate to that distance that was wedged between mother and daughter.

Overall it was a pretty easy read with interesting characters and good character development. The story follows most of Judy's life from her birth to adolescence and her mother's struggles as she tries to find herself.


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