In my new novel, The Awkward Age, I wanted to write, at core, a love story between a mother and a daughter. For that relationship is a romance, of a sort, and seemed worthy honoring with exploration.
In my novel, Julia lost her husband and has been raising her teenager daughter Gwen alone for five years, living together with the volatile intensity of hostages long-held together. It has long been understood between them that Gwen is the center of her mother’s universe, and she offers up her life, interests and needs accordingly. Julia takes cares of Gwen, and Gwen takes care of Julia by allowing her mother to care for her. And then suddenly Julia falls unexpectedly, wonderfully, all-consumingly in love with James, a good man, a worthy man, a man who wants to care for both her and her child, and Gwen feels desperately betrayed.
The books here are very different portraits of mothers and daughters but their unifying theme is an understanding that between a mother and a daughter is a relationship replete with pathos, humor, heartbreak and beauty.