Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter
What is it about authors from Philadelphia? They crack me up!
- Jennifer Weiner (GOOD IN BED). Funny.
- Jim Gladstone (THE BIG BOOK OF MISUNDERSTANDING). A hoot.
- Lisa Scottoline (WHY MY THIRD HUSBAND WILL BE A DOG). Hilarious.
- And with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, in BEST FRIENDS, OCCASIONAL ENEMIES: Riotous.
"Scottoline and Serritella reflect on all they have experienced and observed as daughters, mothers, wives and girlfriends with familiar humor and sarcasm that had me laughing from page one until the very end."
Maybe it is the shared sense that the common, the mundane, should be embraced and laughed at? A recognition that our upbringings and who we eventually evolve into are, well, funny, plain and simple? Scottoline and Serritella reflect on all they have experienced and observed as daughters, mothers, wives and girlfriends with familiar humor and sarcasm that had me laughing from page one until the very end (page 275, if you are curious).
Mother and daughter opine on everything from cat adoption to mouse house guests, from celibacy to hooking up with exes, from letting go to pulling back. They take the obvious and give it a twist that only an east coast resident can write (and get), in my opinion. Okay, I will say it. They elicit cackles. They catch me by surprise with their quick wit, their funny turns of phrase. And I cackle. Out loud.
Here are several gems:
- On the subject of organized laundry, Scottoline writes, “Gravity is my hamper.” She prefers her dirty duds thrown on the floor of the laundry room.
- Serritella on teenage infatuations writes, “No offense to high school boys, but most of the time having the crush is better than having the boyfriend.”
- On life in the not-so-fast lane, Scottoline comments, “I belong in the middle lane because I follow the rules and drive the speed limit. I don’t like to go too fast and I don’t like to go too slow. I’m Goldilocks, on wheels.”
- Scottoline on her book club parties says, “Well the floor show is me talking about myself. Just like here (in the book). And at my signings, I begin by giving a speech about myself then I segue into a question and answer period about me. Now you know why I’m divorced twice.”
- On the familial dogs all descending on Serritella’s apartment, she writes, “[T]hree toy-sized dogs in a toy-sized apartment created a surprising amount of dirt. Think Dust Bowl with dog hair.”
- On social media as a social medium for dating, Serritella reveals, “I only recently opened a Twitter account, and right now, it’s about the least sexy thing ever. I mostly tweet links to articles on animal rights, jokes about pop culture and celebrities, and pictures of my dog. Are you turned on yet?”
Scottoline and Serritella are, as you’ve read, queens of the punchy one-liners. But they also spend a fair amount of time reflecting on how much they genuinely care for each other, Mother Mary, and their furry family members. It makes sense that Scottoline, whose Mother Mary never met a microphone she didn’t like, has a voice that she wants heard, and that Serritella is following in her footsteps.
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara on January 5, 2012