Rated of 5
by Julie Z. (Bennington, VT)
The Possibility of a Little Less than Everything, please?
I haven't read the author's previous books, but it's not hard to guess her primary focus. Here's four other titles listed in this book: Motherless Daughters, Letters from Motherless Daughters, Mother of My Mother, Motherless Mothers.
It comes as no surprise that Edelman comes across as a wee bit obsessive and humorless in this memoir. Her then only daughter, Maya, is three, and seems to be having her terrible twos late; and her husband is working many overtime hours. Maya's tantrums and her imaginary "friend", Dodo, prove to be more than her mother can cope with. Despite re-assurance from the child's pediatrician, seconded by a family friend/therapist, that Maya's behavior is normal, that she'll outgrow it, Edelman and her husband shlep her down Belize, hoping to take her to a healer, while having a family holiday.
Yeah, great idea, you're thinking, especially since she's running a fever, coughing, and Edelman's booked a passage on a marginal third world airline. Don't worry, you won't miss a single beat of this trip, it's so slow, you'll feel like it's happening in real time. By page 200, we'd only gotten to day five of the trip. It's not just that every whine and whimper of the child is described, Edelman tries to provide a little history of the Maya, but it's just not that interesting--it feels like she's filling in the space.
It's hard to care that much about this family. The reader doesn't dislike them, just wants them to relax--come on, it's hardly a serious, life threatening illness we're dealing with here. It seems that Edelman copes with Maya's misbehavior by standing back in awe while she quietly falls apart inside. How about a little discipline here? And she seems to be over-reacting to the imaginary friend. As my mother would say, she won't be bringing him to college.
I would not recommend this book. There are better parenting memoirs, better travel writing, and better books that combine the two.