Can love and intimacy guide Jody’s exodus from her controlling mother, or is the grip of the past too powerful to overcome?
Jody, a young, Jewish wife and new mom, has endured the self-serving rules set by her narcissistic mother all her life—until the day Jody confronts her husband’s infidelity. When her mother demands she stay married to him to avoid family embarrassment, Jody is forced to stand up for herself—with her loving Bubbe’s support. Her emotional journey takes her down a path of thrilling interfaith romance mixed with turmoil and secrets. Jody is forced to choose between being a pawn or embracing the life, love, and self-confidence she longs for. This funny, passionate and suspenseful novel is based in Boston, with emotional coastal adventures in Boothbay, Maine and La Jolla, California.
"I couldn't put this novel down! The opening grabbed me right away. I have enough Jewish friends that I understood the Jewish family angles and the foods, etc., but I loved having the glossary. Fun for a gentile to witness the dysfunctions of a crazy Jewish family."
former fiction librarian
"A very funny book that hints at painful and touching moments that all families endure, whether they admit it or not. I felt like I was visiting some very familiar people in my own family! Jody may well be one of my first cousins, and Bubbe is definitely my grandmother."
former occupational therapist
specializing in mental health
"The Narcissist's Daughter nails a picture of a narcissistic mother and the impact on a daughter. I love the resolution, with the tennis game as a metaphor for Jody finding her strength."
Stephanie M. Kriesberg, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist specializing in
adult daughters of Narcissistic Parents
Mindy Pollack-Fusi is a lifelong writer, former public relations professional, founder of The Place for Words, and veteran journalist and essayist. She holds a BS in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and an MS in Public Relations from Boston University. Originally from Long Island, NY, she grew up in Lexington, Mass., and now lives with her husband, Steve, in Bedford and Falmouth, Mass. They have two adult daughters and a rescue dog, Doogie Howser, MD--the doctor of love. Pictured above is Mindy's late, great cocker spaniel, Gilligan--featured in The Narcissist's Daughter, as is her childhood German shepherd, Yoko.
Following is an excerpt from partway into chapter one. Jody, the 33-year-old protagonist has not spoken to her mother, Ida, for over a year. By mistake, she answers the phone:
The phone rang. Distracted by all of these thoughts, I grabbed it.
“So, you are alive? I thought I would see a story about you in the newspaper soon: Daughter kidnapped!”
I used every ounce of willpower, down to my pinky toe, to not hang up. “Look, Ma, what’s to talk about? I’m never taking him back, and I gave it your ridiculous timeframe, well over a year now. Even Stewart was probably shocked I hadn’t filed for divorce yet.”
“I am just worried you will not find someone else who is Jewish and makes decent money.”
She paused, and I exhaled loudly to keep from swearing. “He was screwing her for a long, long time, Mother! And I’m sure he still does when it’s convenient for the two of them—despite her having a husband!” (read more)
Mindy visits Deborah Kalb's Books blog
An interview with Mindy about her novel (spoiler alert)