Elsewhere, by Richard Russo
Reviewer: Yael Zoldan; age 37; married, with five children; Passaic, New Jersey.
Yael's assessment: I was moved by this memoir, in which the Pulitzer Prize–winning author recounts growing up as the only child of a mother who is smart, beautiful, and determined but also confrontational, flighty, and plagued by anxiety. She dreams of a time when she and Richard can break free of their small town in upstate New York. “Don’t I deserve a life? Don’t I deserve to be happy?” she asks him. But her sadness, needs, and fear are a heavy burden on her son, who feels responsible for her fulfillment. The book examines: Is it possible to live for ourselves and for our parents at the same time?
To buy: $26, amazon.com.