WOOF presents a special post with author, Jane Isay, who talks about her process in writing, Mom Still Likes You Best.
(Read the review below)
My process begins with empathy toward the person who has told the story. Then I try to imagine the setting of his or her life. That’s how I begin to give the story a context. Finally, I try to put myself in the place of the other people in the story, especially the ones who are the source of complaints or anger. I can’t interview everybody in a family, so I try to imagine what the mean mother-in-law was going through when she criticized her daughter-in-law’s mothering skills, or what the cruel older sister’s experience of her childhood was really like.
Writing is also a process of discovery. After I have sketched the stories and found the patterns, I realize that it’s time for me to tell the reader what I think. It takes courage to put your ideas out for strangers to read. After all, people who don’t know you might not take so kindly to you! But for me, so far it’s been OK. Readers of my books find relief when they realize that they are not alone in facing the complex issues that come up in the marvelous institution we call the family. After reading the book, one person who appeared in Walking on Eggshells told me:, “Either you’re a nice lady, or our family isn’t so bad.” That still makes me chuckle—I hope he was right on both counts.
The author lives in New York City, with my husband, Jonathan
Review: Mom Still Likes You Best - Jane Isay - Doubleday
Having mixed feelings about brothers and sisters doesn't mean you don't love them, or that you're somehow deficient. Jane Isay, author of Mom Still Likes You Best, makes that abundantly clear.
All readers will find their particular story in this thoughtfully, detailed book about sibling rivalry.
I found stories about younger sister/older brother particularly compelling since that was my situation. My brother was six years older, loved by all his teachers and a great student. Me? Not so much. I was also keenly aware that he was my mother's favorite. When his favorite dishes were served at EVERY meal, it's pretty hard to ignore.
I didn't let it bother me, though, because I was my dad's favorite, so it all evened out.
Isay covers the ups and downs of these special relationships. Some examples end with laughter and some with tears. She covers every possible situation, and never downplays the hurt and anger that goes along with family dynamics.
My brother died much too soon at age 56. He was my only sibling and I miss him. But, I found great comfort in this book because I realized that our relationship didn't have to be perfect for us to love each other.
I highly recommend this book for all brothers and sisters wondering whether you're alone in your hostility, resentment, or even in your fierce loyalties toward your siblings.
Jane Isay on the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee
Mom Still Likes You Best - Amazon
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