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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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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  667 ratings  ·  116 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 2,102)
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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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Karen
Exactly the book I needed to read at this time in my life. When the author and her brother were cleaning out their mother's house near the beginning, I could so identify with them.
mim
This was a delightful memoir. I connected with it in so many ways. Surprisingly, the city I live in is the city the author's mom lived in! The author has a nice balance of humor and sadness, always good. I like the way the back story was interspersed with the present day, and the way that the author describes her growing relationship with her elderly mother is lovely and might be helpful to people who don't think it's possible with their own parent or parents. Time can really change things. I th ...more
Carol
Jo Maeder writes about mother/daughter relationship in the final years of the mother's life. Her story is a reconnect of two people who did not have a synchronized relationship to begin with. She spins the journey in a positive manner as the months go by. However, the story did not always flow coherently for me in a technical sense. Every experience had a monetary stairwell, but somehow somewhere the thousands of dollars appeared to cover the deficiencies. Neither did I know how to synchronize t ...more
Barb Oliver
Excellent book

Excellent book

So this is my life now. I have.recently brought my mother to live with me and my family. It gives me comfort to read about how Jo made it through that time and how it becomes a blessing to have the experience of it. So many things in her story made me feel like I know how she felt during this sometimes difficult, sometimes wary, but always a learning and growing time in both of our lives. This story is a must read for anyone faced with a life changing situation such a
...more
Vickie Lambert
Such a sweet story. It made me miss my mom so much and long for more days with her. This is a tender, dear love story between a mother and daughter whose relationship is rekindled when mom begins to decline. Jo, not happily, leaves her friends, her job, her beloved NYC life to move to North Carolina to live with Mama Jo and take care of her. Jo's eye-rolling, head-shaking, impatient attitude toward her mom slowly transforms as they become best friends who truly enjoy each other and realize how d ...more
Elaine Tricoli
A "love story" of sorts, but far more touching. I loved this book.
Shadira
Every eldercare situation is different but the emotions and decisions that need to be made are similar. WHEN I MARRIED MY MOTHER, a memoir bestseller, has proven to be a you’ll-laugh-you’ll-cry story that will help you navigateyour own present or future “long goodbye” with an elderly loved one as well as the complex family issues that arise. Even those who have already lost a loved one have felt a cathartic release and clarity.

The book is written with insight,humor,and honesty!!
The writting was
...more
Mary Dalton
Jo Maeder’s engaging memoir depends on the sort of unsettled childhood that drives so many fine examples of the genre (The Glass Castle and The Liar’s Club come to mind as two I have appreciated), but there is also a sweetness to her journey of self-discovery that reminds me more of my friend Martha Mason’s autobiography Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung.

Putting Maeder’s book in such company is high praise from me and richly deserved.

What motivates a “not-so-young” New York City DJ to p
...more
Gloria J. DePolo
Greatly enjoyed this book!





Brought back memories of my caregiving time with my mother. Similar situation, although we were not as financially fortunate, I had to continue to work full-time and raise a family while Mom lived with us. Both my husband and I laugh at the good memories, downplay the
tough times and wish for more shared family time. I also was blessed with getting to know my Mom, understanding some of her choices in life and forgiving them.






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
Candace
I really enjoyed this memoir, possibly because I, too, am caring for my mother. Though I had a different relationship with my mother going into our situation than the author had with hers, I could still identify with so much of what she wrote. It was comforting and reassuring to me to know that someone else has experienced and had a similar reaction to the things that I am going through.

The writing was great. I expected to have to alternate between this book and a novel (as I often have to do w
...more
Margie Van Evera
I picked this book up on Amazon for free, and was drawn to it because my husband and I moved across country to look after my dad. Jo Maeder did a wonderful job writing this easy-to-read story. I liked her humor, and sarcasm; and her truthfulness in telling a story about elder care. It's not an easy task turning the tables with the parent turning into the "child" and the child turning into the "parent." I enjoyed this book very much.
Teresa Zea
When I first started this book, I thought it was going to be a depressing read that'll require breaks every now and then to brighten the mood. However, this is an engrossing, happy and loving story that I couldn't set down until I finished. It definitely makes you reflect on your family and wonder if there'll come a day when you have the chance to make amends and get to know each other once again.
Andi
I didn't have high hopes for this book as it was a limited time freebie on Amazon, boy was I wrong! This is a tender, poignant memoir of an adult child, at first begrudgingly but then willingly, taking care of her aging mother. It was a beautiful lesson to all children to remember that our parents were/are people too with full, rich lives. I truly enjoyed reading the story of Jo and Mama Jo.
Fiona Stewart
A brilliant read, a very compelling and heart warming true account of how a daughter manages to cope and care for her very strange mother, which leaves her wondering why she never moved in with her sooner. The daughter finds details regarding her mothers life that she never knew happened and as a result starts to feel a deep compassion towards her mother. A must read!!!
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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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“When he told me he believed every word in the Bible because, “knowing what I know about mankind, we couldn’t have written it if we tried,” 0 likes
“We are the only life form that can bring a purpose to our lives. It doesn’t make sense to strive and strive and then die without any meaning to it.” 0 likes
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