Short stories that are “achingly true to life when it comes to the many ways mothers and daughters grow together and apart, over and over again” (O, The Oprah Magazine).
“Mothers and daughters go at it in the way only mothers and daughters can, with full hearts and claws out, in Natalie Serber’s funny, bittersweet collection” of short fiction named a New York Times Notable Book (Vanity Fair).
In a battle between a teenager and her mother, wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husband’s fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of rum, an unexpected tattoo, and rogue teenagers leave a woman questioning her place. And in a suite of stories, we follow capricious, ambitious single mother Ruby and her cautious, steadfast daughter, Nora, through their tumultuous life—stray men, stray cats, and psychedelic drugs—in 1970s California.
“The characters are irresistible … Serber writes with exquisite patience and sensitivity, and is an expert in the many ways that love throws people together and splits them apart, often at the same time. ” —TheWall Street Journal
“From its first page, Serber’s debut collection plunges us into the humid heat and lightning of a perfect storm: that of American mothers and daughters struggling for power, love, meaning, and identity… . Serber’s writing sparkles: practical, strong, brazenly modern, marbled with superb descriptions. ” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Mothers and daughters burst from these pages in stories about food, boyfriends, birthdays, husbands and more. ” —Houston Chronicle
“In the tradition of Lorrie Moore and Tobias Wolff, Natalie Serber’s stories uncover the secret hearts of seemingly ordinary people. Funny, heart-felt, and keenly perceptive, this is a book worth shouting about. ” —Dan Chaon, author of If I Loved You I Would Tell You This