By Natalie Wexler
Fuze Publishing, LLC, $19.95, 272 pages
Barb, Susan, and Amanda are the mothers of daughters in their senior year at Barton Friends, an elite private school in Washington, D.C. They are tasked with putting on the annual mother/daughter show, a song and dance extravaganza in which the mothers perform for their daughters with songs and skits about their high school years. The school looks for 100% participation from the seniors’ mothers, and the coming together of these women and their volatile daughters is the basis for Natalie Wexler’s The Mother Daughter Show, an amusing and perceptive look at one of the most complex human relationships during its most turbulent year.
This book is largely entertaining, and Wexler does delve into issues beyond hormonal teens. She gives the mothers their own stories and realities as mid-life women, whether it’s returning to the workplace, dealing with marital infidelity or negotiating their own friendships. This gives The Mother Daughter Show some emotional heft, as opposed to just being a comedy about the mishaps of a group of amateurs trying to put on a full-scale musical production.
Reviewed by Catherine Gilmore