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In the tradition of recent hits like The Bitch in the House and Perfect Madness comes a hilarious and controversial book that every woman will have an opinion about, written by America's most outrageous writer. In our mothers' day there were good mothers, neglectful mothers, and occasionally great mothers. Today we have only Bad Mothers. If you work, you're neglectful; if you stay home, you're smothering. If you discipline, you're buying them a spot on the shrink's couch; if you let them run wild, they will be into drugs by seventh grade. If you buy organic, you're spending their college fund; if you don't, you're risking all sorts of allergies and illnesses. Is it any wonder so many women refer to themselves at one time or another as "a bad mother"? Ayelet Waldman says it's time for women to get over it and get on with it, in a book that is sure to spark the same level of controversy as her now legendary "Modern Love" piece, in which she confessed to loving her husband more than her children. Covering topics as diverse as the hysteria of competitive parenting (Whose toddler can recite the planets in order from the sun?), the relentless pursuits of the Bad Mother police, balancing the work-family dynamic, and the bane of every mother's existence (homework, that is), Bad Mother illuminates the anxieties that riddle motherhood today, while providing women with the encouragement they need to give themselves a break.
When her infant son's beautiful young Chasidic babysitter vanishes, Juliet can't help wondering if the girl was fleeing something even scarier than her screaming, squalling charge. Like her upcoming arranged marriage, maybe? It's certainly possible. Or perhaps something much more sinister has occurred. Why else would her family be so reluctant to call in the police? To find out the truth, Juliet, with her over-tired kids in tow, will have to travel from her havoc-filled home in Los Angeles to a Chasidic enclave in Brooklyn. In search of answers. In pursuit of justice. And in desperate need of a big, long nap...
With her "quirky, engaging characters, sharp wit, and vivid prose," Ayelet Waldman brings a new addition to her Mommy-Track Mysteries, Teeter-tottering on the brink of sanity, Juliet Applebaum not only solves crimes, she does it with diapers, bottles, and...oh yes, three kids in tow. This time she'll play hide-and-seek with some of South Central's seediest denizens. But Their fledgling detective agency has spread its wings-and now partners Juliet Applebaum and Al Hockey, once in the hole, are finally flying high. A Hollywood lawyer uses them regularly to clean up after some of his less-than-discreet celeb clients. They see people come through the doors of their garage-turned-office, seeking defense investigation. They also see insurance investigation cases. But Juliet and Al are about to find out, they ain't seen nothin' yet... Heavenly has come to Juliet with a story too good for any detective with a conscience to turn down. Her sister, an addict and streetwalker, has turned up dead-and the police couldn't care less. With any luck-and with plucky gut using all she can-Heavenly will learn about her sister's death and, if possible, bring the killer to justice. But it's hard going.
The investigative business is booming for Juliet Applebaum and her partner Al, but their new client, incarcerated in Dartmore State Prison, is going to be a real challenge. Sandra Lorgeree has enlisted Juliet to locate the son she surrendered to foster care-as well as the foster parents who seem to have disappeared with him. But Juliet's new case takes a deadly detour when the desperate young mother is knifed to death- allegedly by another inmate. Prison officials dismiss the murder as just one more fatality in lockdown. Juliet has her doubts. Now Juliet is determined to make Sandra's last wish come true. Even if it means tracking little Noah-and the killer-through the dark maze of a widespread conspiracy. And even if it winds up pitting her against some very wealthy, powerful,and dangerous enemies...
How much would you sacrifice to save someone you love? When Olivia, wild-haired and headstrong, makes a terrible mistake, she must turn to the person least likely to help--her mother, Elaine. Motherhood was a role that Elaine never embraced and her best never amounted to much. But now Olivia faces prosecution for a naive connection to a drug deal and she needs Elaine more than ever. As the days count down and Olivia's future hangs in the balance, Elaine must decide just how much she is willing to give for a second chance with her daughter. With Daughter's Keeper, Ayelet Waldman has crafted a redemptive journey at once highly emotional and unbearably suspenseful, as Olivia and Elaine's struggle builds to a beautiful, heart-wrenching climax. In this luminous, gripping novel, Waldman brings to life the tensions and the tenderness that forge the unshakeable bond between parent and child. Daughter's Keeper reveals the unlimited boundaries of forgiveness and the sacrifices we make for love.
Juggling lunchboxes, piano lessons, and baby-sitters has made Juliet a bit forgetful. Which explains why she very nearly overlooks her best friend's invitation to the big benefit gala.A little makeup and a lot of hair gel and she's all set to play with the grown-ups again. At the party she spots her old friend Lilly Green-movie star and mother of two-who lets Juliet in on a little secret. Her brother is in jail, accused of killing his father's wife, and Lilly needs some help in clearing his name. More than happy to oblige, Juliet takes off to investigate. But when she discovers that her famous friend may have played a role in the murder,she feels just plain sick.Or could that be morning sickness...again?
Is Emilia the wicked stepmother incarnate? Passionately in love with her husband, Emilia has a secret, guilty loathing for her precocious little stepson, William - a forty-year-old in a five-year-old's body, whom she picks up from nursery every Wednesday afternoon. He is lactose intolerant, she feeds him dairy products; he mustn't get cold, she pushes him - accidentally - into a pond in Central Park. How can she forgive William for living, when her own cherished child has gone? LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS is funny, candid and raw, a humorous and emotional novel about family in today's fractured society. Set among high-achieving Manhattanites, it announces the arrival of an exciting new American voice.
A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes, Ayelet Waldman's Love and Treasure weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War. In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure--a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman--a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt Natalie, a woman whose secret may help Natalie to understand the guilt her grandfather will take to his grave and to find a way out of the mess she has made of her own life. A story of brilliantly drawn characters--a suave and shady art historian, a delusive and infatuated Freudian, a family of singing circus dwarfs fallen into the clutches of Josef Mengele, and desperate lovers facing choices that will tear them apart--Love and Treasure is Ayelet Waldman's finest novel to date: a sad, funny, richly detailed work that poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the slenderest of chains that can bind us to the griefs and passions of the past. From the Hardcover edition.
Now in Murder Plays House, with a new arrival on the way, the Applebaum household is bursting at the seams. And Juliet is balancing clue-chasing and diaper-changing with a new task: house-hunting... Juliet loves her kids. She loves their dirty little faces and skinned knees. She loves the ridiculous and amazing things they say. But when three-and-a-half-year-old Isaac evicts her husband and her from their own bed one night, love is the last thing on her mind. Juliet now recognizes the need for a few changes... starting with a bigger house. And when the new baby arrives, they'll welcome the extra space. But if there's ever a bad time to search for a new house in L.A., it's now. In a buyer-unfriendly real estate market, one practically has to kill to find an affordable home. No wonder Juliet is prepared to overlook a corpse on the grounds of her would-be dream house. To salve her concience-and literally get her foot in the front door-she vows to find the killer of the homeowner's sister.The investigation leads her from the madness of house-hunting into a world of washed-up actors and canceled TV shows, a world more depraved than she could ever have imagined...
A public defender turned stay-at-home mom, Juliet Applebaum is bored with playdates and trips to the park-so near the end of her second pregnancy, she gets off the mommy track to track down a murderer.... Juliet isn't too surprised when her feisty, tantrum-throwing two-year- old daughter doesn't get into Hollywood's premier preschool-but she's shocked and suspicious when the school's principal is killed in a hit-and-run accident. Against the advice of her screenwriter husband, and with her rambunctious toddler in tow, Juliet heads to the local playground to dig up some dirt on a disgruntled studio executive whose daughter wasn't offered a place in the school. But she has some surprising new suspects to consider when her investigation takes her into a seedy on-line newsgroup-and the most dangerous parts of the human heart....
As lyrical as a sonata, Ayelet Waldman's follow-up novel to Love and Other Impossible Pursuits explores the aftermath of a family tragedy. Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, Red Hook Road tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity. A marriage collapses under the strain of a daughter's death; two bereaved siblings find comfort in one another; and an adopted young girl breathes new life into her family with her prodigious talent for the violin. As she writes with obvious affection for these unforgettable characters, Ayelet Waldman skillfully interweaves life's finer pleasures--music and literature--with the more mundane joys of living. Within these resonant pages, a vase filled with wildflowers or a cold beer on a hot summer day serve as constant reminders that it's often the little things that make life so precious.From the Hardcover edition.
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