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When I Married My Mother: A Daughter�s Search for What Really Matters�and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo
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When I Married My Mother: A Daughter�s Search for What Really Matters�and How She Found It Caring for Mama Jo

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  919 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Jo Maeder was an ambitious DJ in New York City when she did the unthinkable: she moved to the Bible Belt to look after her frail, estranged mother, who had long been a source of intense frustration. Maeder’s tumultuous journey from simply living with “Mama Jo” to learning to truly love her not only changed Maeder’s life, but also was the catalyst for pulling her long-fract ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,690)
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Connie
If you are caring for an elderly parent, if you are a daughter, if you have had a difficult relationship with a parent, if you are at a stand still in your life......read this! I think everyone would benefit from reading this thoughtful and thought provoking memoir of Mama Jo. It will open your eyes (and your heart) to see what is really important in life.

Jo Maeder takes the reader on a delightful, witty and often wobbly journey as she uproots her life to take care of her Mother and ends up fi
...more
Andrea
A late entry to my favorites of what I read in 2012! This book was an incredibly moving personal story about a daughter making the tough choice to leave her career to care for her aging mother full time. A love story of sorts, the book follows the journey as mother and daughter get to know and appreciate each other again. Jo’s transition from the fast-paced life of New York City to North Carolina provided many moments of humor. The book is packed with lovely moments of realization and wonderful ...more
Cindy Hudson
As a successful Manhattan radio DJ, Jo Maeder led what many would consider a glamorous New York City life. Yet when it became increasingly clear that her mother could no longer live on her own in the home she owned in Virginia, Jo made a choice to leave the city and move with her mother to North Carolina, where they would be near her brother and his new wife.

While that’s the basic story behind When I Married My Mother: A Daughter’s Search for What Really Matters—and How She Found It Caring for M
...more
Ruth
As many of our generation find that we are parenting the very people we were raised by, this story offers a look at what reconciliation can give back to us. Becoming her mother's caregiver seems to have made whole the family Maeder lost in the years spent accomplishing her career. And in the telling, she forges a new vision for herself as an author. At first, it seems that their lives might be polar opposites: Jo Maeder had made a name for herself in radio in the Northeast, but her elderly mothe ...more
Judy Seguin
I just finished reading this book and tears are flowing as I knew they would. They are tears of joy that I had a mom who "when given the choice to sit it out or dance" ... danced, and shared that dance with me. She passed away march 14th and although she didn't live with me, I have been (and now realize how blessed I was) significantly involved in her ongoing care for the past 5 years. I purchased this book several months ago and without knowing what the storyline actually was, picked it up two ...more
Beth
I read this for the memoir category of the Popsugar 2015 challenge. In a nutshell, it's about a woman who leaves her long-time home and glamorous job as a DJ in New York to move to Greensboro NC and share a house with her elderly mother. They've basically been estranged for years, and her mother is developing dementia, has been living alone in Richmond, and is such a horrific hoarder that her house has rooms they can't open the doors to, and is about to be condemned. It's a funny and sweet book, ...more
Jo Maeder
Jun 15, 2014 Jo Maeder rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The 2014 ebook and paperback versions have bonus material that includes a Q&A, Mama Jo's Favorite Cookie award-winning recipe, caregiving tips, discussion questions, and two videos. For more reviews here, search for the hardcover version. Thank you! I appreciate your feedback.
Lisa McDowell
So very good in so many ways

I would recommend this well written book to anyone with parents. Most of us at one point or another will have to deal with an elder parent that requires care. Reading this brought some great memories I had of caring for my dad as he passed from cancer and then helping mom navigate being alone for the next 13 years until she passed. I learned so much from my mom about her, my dad, their time dating, etc that my much older brother and sisters didn't know about.
Jo has i
...more
Bronna
Maybe it's because I'm experiencing a lot of these issues from care taking my 86 year old mother for 3 years now in my home or maybe it's because this was a wonderfully written book, but it was a "I cannot put it down" read for me.

Of course, not only did I identify with the care taking portion of the book but I also happened to be born in Winston-Salem NC and still reside in a nearby town called Belews Creek NC. It was so very interesting to me to read how someone from Manhatten saw so many inte
...more
Kim
A-MAZ-ING!!! This is one of those books that should be required reading. I am taking it upon myself to get several out to family and friends as gifts. It has a message, one I feel is greatly important and soooo greatly overlooked.
This book is hilarious and at the same time completely touching. I don't think I have ever laughed so much while reading any book, and this one has some pretty severe issues attached. It seems, American culture drowns out the issues of the elderly. We never speak of it
...more
Judie
Jo Maeder, age 47, divorced and living in New York City, earned her living as a DJ on a radio station that catered to younger listeners and doing voice overs. One day she received a telephone call from her brother Arthur, with whom she was not particularly close, asking her to come to Greensboro, North Carolina, for his wedding and to bring their mother, Mama Jo, who lived in Virginia, with her.
Their relationship with their mother was strained. Their parents had divorced when they were teenage
...more
Nicole
When I Married My Mother
By: Jo Maeder



One New Yorker DJ and one elderly, aging woman living in the heart of the Bible-loving south are being reunited thanks to life. Jo decides to leave her home to head south to care for her mother, despite all of her friends and family begging her not to go. Looking back now, Jo would never change those final few years with her mom, since that short time taught her more about life than she had ever learned before.

This is an emotional tale of a woman coming to te
...more
Gerri
Loved this book!!Parts of the Book I could relate to about Jo's experience of coming to North Carolina from a Big City. Hysterical on all Levels!!. Heart warming shares on her life with her Mama and how she cared for her.
Jo Maeder worked with my first husband Earl at two different radio stations as on air personalities and every time I got the chance to be around her I felt a kinship. I look forward to reconnecting with her now that we are back in the same state again!! and about an hour and a
...more
Rebecca Wilkins
Precious memories

Jo and her mother shared so many of the same things my mom & I shared. Since moms passing, I now have those memories to share with my dad. Everyone should read this, what a joy to know others have felt the same ups, downs, joy & heartache loving and caring for an aging parent, and being there at the moment of passing.
Christine Cruso
A must read for any caregiver

A must read for any caregiver

A heartwarming story of a daughter, successfully leading her own life, whose life is turned upside down in order to care for her declining mother. Her life is transformed in all ways imaginable and though there are challenges, all of the life changes are for the best. She builds a closer relationship with her mother, seeing her through new eyes and with a newfound appreciation. She details the struggles she encounters while caring for her
...more
Rita Arnson
Unexpectedly insightfful

I expected this book to be light hearted and funny. It was but so much more. My mother is not a hoarder but at a point in her life where she may need more care. This book really opened my eyes and heart to what a special time that can be.
Corina
I almost stopped reading it altogether. At first, I did not find the writer (this is a true story so the writer was also the main character) to be engaging and was really put off but I put it down for awhile then came back to it. I'm glad I did. It turned out to be a very interesting and even inspirational read.

When Jo takes on the task of moving from her New York home to North Carolina to take care of her ill and aging mother with whom she never got along, interesting things happen to both wome
...more
Kellie J Rosas
Good Read

I had an awesome relationship with my own mother when she was alive and miss her everyday. To be given one more day to love her..




Carolyn
While I know that others have cared for elderly parents, this story is one that I am experiencing and understand. As an only child of a mother who had emotional problems as I was growing up, I now care for her–from a distance (3 hours). This is a woman I often wished dead during my childhood. My details aren’t important except to say that the moments Maeder describes between her and her mother as they reunited and she aged touched me deeply. Now that I have come to know my mother in a totally di ...more
Kate
As we are caring for our 99-year-old mother with Alzheimer's, I had high hopes for both information and wisdom in this book. However, much of the book was so improbable that it became difficult to finish. Jo Maeder's father divorced Mama Jo when Maeder was in her teens and took the children with him. Evidently there was contact, but not much. Yet when Mama Jo begins to fail, Maeder, newly let go from her lucrative Manhattan DJ's job, decides to take on Mama Jo's care, moving to Bible-belt North ...more
Kathe Dimeo Coleman
Jo Maeder gave up her successful career as a New York City DJ in order to care for her aging mother in Greensborro Mama Jo was a hoarder and after living for decades on her own the house was crammed with miscellaneous junk along with an extensive doll collection. The stress builds as she must clear out the house, sell it and build a new home that accommodates her mother’s needs while still providing Maeder a home base operation for her voice over work as a DJ. She organizes home aides, doctors a ...more
Janet Eshenroder
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev Walkling
This book was a delight for me because it rang so many familiar bells from my own life and showed so clearly the blessings that come from being involved in our loved ones lives as they wind down to their end.

Jo Maeder changed her life completely to be there with her mother who was showing signs of Alzheimer's as well as being a compulsive hoarder. She moved from New York (where she had been a DJ) to North Carolina, where her brother and his new wife lived and made a home for herself, her mother
...more
Sandra Davis
This book touched my heart in so many ways. My own mother is now almost 96 years old and is being cared for by one of my older sisters and my youngest sister, from a family of 11 of us. All three of them live together in my youngest sister's home and we jokingly refer to them as "The Golden Girls". Congratulations Jo Maeder on telling your mother's story in such a delightful way. I can certainly understand how difficult it was for you to get "the information from your mother" that you wanted and ...more
Sabrina
We interviewed Jo Maeder for a blog post at work. I took one look at the picture of Jo Maeder with her mother, Mama Jo and just had to read the book. I thought it was just the sweetest picture, and the book was funny, sad and eye-opening as well.

It's amazing thinking about how we enter this world helpless, and most of us will leave that way too.
Victoria
This was an odd book for me to read yet a thorough delight with a lot of deep thinking accompanying it. I don't think I can say it better than part of a cover blurb: "Jo Maeder has written the most unlikely book--where I should have been sad, I laughed. Where I should have cried, I felt happy. ..." (Rebecca Johnson)
akaellen
I thought this was a really good portrayal of what it can be like to care for an elderly parent. Maeder definitely puts the positive spin on the experience and I certainly don't think a lot of people would be so fortunate to have the same experience that she had - still this book resonated with me.
Scot
I didn't like this book, at first. The narrator, a 47 year old New York City-based divorced woman who worked as a DJ/voice artist in the world of radio, came off as a bit too self-absorbed, rather whiney and demanding, although I believe she thought she would be interpreted as a witty, hip urbanite. Therefore, her complaints about her oddball mother, a notorious hoarder and creepy doll collector, didn't matter to me that much. However, I have to give the author credit, for as the memoir progress ...more
Kathy
I needed this book, the timing could not have been more perfect.
Beverley Rochford
I enjoyed it- yet another daughter -mother memoir. The author , having lived with her father after the divorce, did not really "know" her mother .Trying to ignore her mother's hoarding obsession over the years , she barely visited her . The crucial point comes when she finally decides that her mother cannot function on her own any longer as she ages. The author makes a life changing decision to leave her work and life in New York and start a new life caring for her mother in the Carolinas-cultur ...more
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2784207
Story junkie and scribe who once answered to the name "The Rock and Roll Madame" on the radio. Blast some Led Zeppelin and watch her come back to life. I love audio books and have a Pinterest page of my favorite ones, that are also listed here mixed in with print and ebooks. All my reviews are 5 stars for a reason. I won't publicly downgrade another author in any way. So I only post books I truly ...more
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