I hid my new book from my mother.
I confess it.
She’s an avid reader. A devourer of books. She’ll read anything, anywhere, anytime.
But she’s also a critic.
“I didn’t like that one,” I’ll hear her quip about the latest James Patterson best seller.
“This one was a little slow at the start,” she’ll say about some poor famous author. I avert my eyes so the author’s name is not seared on my brain next to the brutal comment.
“I’m not sure I liked that book’s ending.” I make a mental note to avoid that one too. Or maybe I should make a point of reading it, so I have something to bring up at the next family dinner to deflect the usual: My old flames and whatever happened to s0-and-so boyfriend. “He was so nice.”
The masses are a cornucopia of opinions. So far, my book is everything from an “‘Algonquin Round Table’ of imagination and magic precisely” to “I can’t wait for the movie” and just about everything in between. But Moms are a rigid brick and mortar wall when it comes to their own children. My Mom almost always reminds me that I shouldn’t wear those linen pants unless I’ve ironed them first.
And I really, really wasn’t expecting what happened when I finally let my Mom know my first book was out.
“I can’t put it down! Your writing is so refreshing. You know, I haven’t read any fiction from you lately.”
Yes, it’s true. I’ve been writing non-fiction on the front pages of newspapers almost every day for, well, let’s say more than a decade. I’m a big fan of the phrase, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” And yes, I haven’t written fiction since, well, I was a kid.
For Mother’s Day weekend, this book, which includes a very bad Mother, is only 99 cents for the ebook version on Amazon.com. I thought it would make Moms feel good about how they’re not that bad. Like Anna in the book.
So she’s in the middle of reading it. I just hope the ending’s ok.