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Mothers, Madness, and Memoirs

How do you mother your children when all you have known about motherhood comes from women of madness, violence, prostitution, and oppressive silence?

A memoir, DROWNING SQUIRRELS (88,870 words) brings to light French writer Marguerite Duras’ affirmation that “the mother represents madness.”

Reminiscent of the stark childhood portrayed in Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes and the charged mother-daughter dynamics depicted in Christina Crawford’sMommie Dearest, Marina DelVecchio’s narrative examines the role of motherhood in three generations of women as it reflects upon the ongoing struggle and resilience of a Greek adoptee forced to survive a childhood of maternal violence, homelessness, orphanages, prostitution, neglect, emigration to America, and an adoption that denies her identity and silences her past.

Framed by the social construction that mothers are sublime representations of the nurturing and self-sacrificing Madonna-like figure, DROWNING SQUIRRELS argues that not all women are emotionally prepared for motherhood, for their experiences shape their mothering. It explores the notion that emotionally unhealthy women make unstable mothers, their unresolved childhood issues corroding their parenting and their children. With her two mothers in mind, Marina must determine how much weight the precarious nature of her childhood will bear on the way she parents her two small children. By juxtaposing the two careless women that mothered her to her own role as a parent, she exposes the complexities of the maternal that include love, loss, rage and guilt, concluding that healthy mothering of one’s children can only be achieved through honesty and forgiveness.

A gripping mother-daughter narrative that counters the dark side of mothering with the good and well-intentioned, the success of DROWNING SQUIRRELS is in its ability to target a large audience of women, mothers and daughters alike that comprise 611, 797 of the published titles found on Amazon.com on the subject of motherhood, thus marking its potential and marketable success.

Drowning Squirrels is under representation by the Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency from New York.

Copyright© 2010 by Marina Delvecchio. All Rights Reserved.