Mother's Day: Doubleday & Co., 1980; The Akadine Press, 1997 (as In Private Life)
Doubleday & Company, 1980
"Let's put it this way: If you like [Erma] Bombeck, you will like this book, but if you don't like Bombeck, you will like this book. It's that simple."
--Jane Sebold, 1980
When the book was reissued in 1997, Barbara wrote, "Rereading In Private Life, I was stunned by how much has changed in such a small handful of years. ...
"On the one hand, there was nothing quaint or virtuous then about a family sitting down to a home-cooked dinner together every night and then reading till bedtime. There was nothing noteworthy about kids who went outdoors unsupervised to build treehouses, catch frogs, and get dirty and wet.
"On the other hand, there was nothing sinister then about a mother - a mother - who smoked cigarettes, belted down a couple of snorts before dinner, and even invited friends over to abuse alcohol. There was nothing peculiar about a father who largely ignored his children; the paternal role was still limited to its age-old functions of math homework and punishments...."
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