Mother Daughter Me: a memoir, Katie Hafner

An extraordinarily written story of three generations of women experimentally living together. Katie, a young widow with a teenage daughter, brings her mother to live with them. The many unresolved emotional crises of Katie’s childhood and the turbulent relationship with her mother then and now are a recipe for disaster. Some would say the experiment failed, as they could not continue to live under the same roof—as they did not in Katie’s childhood. But ultimately it becomes a courageous healing journey for all three women; and it is a riveting read.

At the end of book, Katie Hafner quotes Judith Wallerstein (The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce): “So lasting are the effects of divorce, so disruptive to the bond between parent and child, that some of these children find that when the roles are reversed and it is their parents who now need them, they want to pay them back in kind. What they didn’t get, they don’t want to give.” But, Katie says, “Even as I read this, I don’t budge from what has become a personal mantra: Our parents do the best they can with what they have to work with, and we owe them the same.”