Gwen Eaton, 56 year old widow - didn’t want her daughters Nikki or Clare to take her out for a meal. She insisted on doing the cooking herself. Mom’s a skillful cook, and a loyal volunteer.
Opening this story on Mother’s Day....was the perfect beginning. We get a fast and interesting understanding of the characters basic make-up... their personalities- their moral compass - their baggage - resentments & judgements.
Nikki is the ...more
In Missing Mom Joyce Carol Oates writes about grieving the loss of one’s parent(s) with her typical skill, insuring the experience is totally memorable and unlike anything the reader has experienced before.
Nikki Eaton is a reporter for the Beacon. She is hip. She wears her multi- colored hair short as her skirts are. She ...more
If you follow me, you’ve probably heard me mention Joyce Carol Oates a couple of times or more. She is one of my favorite authors. I’m not only impressed with her abilities as a writer, her way of using language, punctuation, italics as emphasis and much more but also her productivity and her constant high writing standard. I’ve never read a bad book by her. S ...more
So I related to Missin ...more
The story deals with the unexpected violent death (two days after Mother's Day) of middle aged mom, Gwen Eaton, as seen through the eyes of her immature, selfish 31 year old youngest daughter Nikki, an independent journalist who freelances with a local paper.
I found Nikki's ruminations to be grating and boring at tim ...more
But I can't imagine how this novel merited a Notable Book of the Year endorsement from the NYT Book Review. Well, unless they considered it notable for having been published at all in spite of being so sloppily written.
It reads like an early draft that Oates whipped off, ran spell-check on, then shipped out without running it through even a cursory edit.
Its full of ...more
(He looks at the title)
"Sarah, your mom is not missing. We know where she is."
And that was the first time I laughed since she died:)
Even if the theme seems quite depressive since the author managed to describe in a realistic way and with some sense of humor what people normally do after a sudden death of one of their parents.
It seems that this book reveals the author's own experience after the recent loss of her mother.
"This is my story about missing my mother," Nikki says at the start of Missing Mom. "One day, in a way unique to you, it will be your story, too." Although many critics compared Missing Mom to Oates's classic, We Were the Mulvaneys, they agreed that the latter is the far superior work. Reviewers thought Nikki inconsistent and uneven; other characters came off as flat. Only the mother remained in their minds as a magnificent, realistic character__one of Oates's best to date, in fact, since Oates...more
Does Nikki have any friends? They were strangely absent. And the long scenes with Alyce and Aunt Tabitha seemed formulaic, but this is a small complaint.
Oates seems to be a patron saint to "wild" girls, independent women, any female who does not follow the standard operating procedures. She writes about them, tells us about them, helps us understand them. Does she see herself as one? I know almost nothing about her personally.
I STILL THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE WEAKER JCO BOOKS!
Yep, it's official. JCO is my favorite author. If an author's weaker works get a 4 out of 5 with how much she writes, she's the better one. "The Secret History" is still my all-time favorite book and I will never ...more
In Nikki and in Chataqua Falls, Oates returns to the types of characters and places that have defined so much of her writing. A somewhat directionless woman, who is often the object of others actions and priorities: her mother’s ministrations, her contro ...more
There is the trademark Oates violence, it is rare that a book of hers doesn't have a violent event. But what this book mostly is about is the intriguing story of how a daughter finally comes to know who her ...more