Reviews for Mother Daughter Me

“This brilliant, funny, poignant, and wrenching story of three generations under one roof is quite unlike anything I have ever read. I love Hafner’s prose, her humor, the images she conjures, her choices of what to tell and when, the weaving together of family threads to produce this luminous and lasting tapestry. The story lingered with me long after I read the last page.”
– Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

“Weaving past with present, anecdote with analysis, Hafner’s riveting account of multigenerational living and mother-daughter frictions, of love and forgiveness, is devoid of self-pity and unafraid of self-blame.”
– Elle Magazine

Mother Daughter Me delivers an unusually graceful story, one that balances honesty and tact…Hafner narrates the events so adeptly that they feel enlightening rather than enervating.”
– Jane Smiley, Harper’s Magazine

“Scrap any romantic ideas about what goes on when a 40-something woman invites her mother to live with her and her teenage daughter for a year. As Hafner hilariously and touchingly tells it, being the center of a family sandwich is, well, complicated.”
Parade Magazine

“The Best Memoir I’ve Read This Year”
The New York Times, Motherlode Blog

“In a narrative that skillfully moves between her present predicament and her difficult childhood, Hafner offers a compelling portrait of her remarkable mother and their troubled relationship. . . . Heartbreakingly honest.”
Kirkus Reviews

“With crystalline prose and impressive narrative control, Hafner candidly probes a host of issues: the lingering impact of alcoholism and parental abandonment on adult children, how dysfunction ripples through future generations, whether it is necessary to confront the past in order to redeem it.”Slate Magazine

“Hafner’s midlife juggling act, presented here warts-and-all, will appeal to an army of readers whose major difficulty will be finding time in their day to read the book.”
Library Journal

“Brilliant. Mother Daughter Me is a beautifully written, intimately provocative, and courageous unpeeling of the deep rhythms of love, hate, fear, and redemption in three generations of females. I love this book!”
– Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain

“Katie Hafner’s new memoir is an emotional whodunit, as the author uses brilliant journalistic acumen to crack the code of old family secrets. Told with humor and candor in equal parts, Mother Daughter Me is at heart a love letter, to the father who never understood his daughter, the stepmother who tried to be welcoming, the sister who fought the good fight, the husband whose good life was cut short way too early, the daughter who is and also will be the still point of the author’s turning world. Haunting it all is a now elderly mother who is as frustrating as she is admirable. A family saga, about wrenching truths, gently told.”
– Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Uphill Walkers

“Katie Hafner is a first-rate storyteller, and Mother Daughter Me is a rare, utterly riveting memoir about her year of living dangerously with her aging mother and her volatile teenage daughter. Hafner writes with a deceptively light touch about the darkest subjects: a lifetime of psychic pain, childhood upheaval, her mother’s alcoholism, her beloved husband’s sudden death, and her own deep yearning for insight, wisdom, and connection. What a triumph this is, and what a story.”
– Elizabeth Benedict, bestselling novelist and editor of What My Mother Gave Me: 31 Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most

“Hafner writes with compassion and wit about the often uneasy alliances between mothers and daughters and the surprising ways in which relationships can be redeemed even late in life.”
– Booklist

“What Eat Pray Love did for educated women with unhappy love lives who plunge into spiritual abysses, journalist Katie Hafner’s memoir Mother Daughter Me does for rootless educated women with abysmal, possibly alcoholic, mothers.”
– Betsy Robinson, author of Conversations with Mom