I think it’s pretty safe to say that the people we are closest with are the ones who we have the most complicated relationships with. Our parents are certainly included in this category.
Erica Jong’s 1997 novel, Inventing Memory, is a multi generation novel delving into the often complicated and difficult relationships between mother’s and daughters.
In the early twentieth century, Sarah, a young Jewish woman, leaves Tsarist Russia for New York’s Lower East Side. She gains fame and fortune as a painter. Her daughter, Salome, becomes a writer, living in Paris in the decadent 1920’s and 1930’s. Her daughter, Sally rockets to the top of the music charts in the 1960’s while engaging in the era’s open attitude to sex, drugs and rock and roll. Her daughter, also named Sara, is dealing with the twin demons of a failing marriage and trying to figure out who she is.
Next to Fear Of Flying, this is my favorite Erica Jong book. Fans of Jong’s books will immediately recognize her voice as writer. As she did in previous books, there is an undercurrent of feminism while exploring the minds of female characters whose lives and thoughts might have been ignored by other writers. What makes this book so good is that it’s about the universal subject that is the relationship between mothers and daughters.
I recommend this book.