’An indelible portrait of a brilliant, beautiful, mad and maddening woman, expressing the joy of holding her mercurial attention and also the terrible cost of that intimacy…No-one who reads this captivating book will ever forget Maman’ Andrew Solomon
A prize-winning tour de force when it came out in France, this brilliant translation of Violaine Huisman’s 'witty, immersive autofiction showcases a Parisian childhood with a charismatic, depressed parent’ (Oprah Daily. Beautiful and magnetic, Catherine, aka 'Maman’, smokes too much, drives too fast, laughs too hard and loves too extravagantly. During a joyful and chaotic childhood, her daughter Violaine wouldn’t have it any other way.
But when Maman is hospitalised after a third divorce and breakdown, everything changes. Even as Violaine and her sister long for their mother’s return, once she’s back Maman’s violent mood swings and flagrant disregard for personal boundaries soon turn their home into an emotional landmine. As the story of Catherine’s own traumatic childhood and coming of age unfolds, the pieces come together to form an indelible portrait of a mother as irresistible as she is impossible, as triumphant as she is transgressive.
With spectacular ferocity of language, a streak of dark humor and stunning emotional bravery, The Book of Mother is an exquisitely wrought story of a mother’s dizzying heights and devastating lows, and a daughter who must hold her memory close in order to let go.