BOOK #: 10
REASON READ: arc/are, 100+ Challenge, ARC Challenge, A to Z Challenge
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
FORMAT/PAGES: Hardcover/320 pgs.
RATING: 4 Stars
Everyone knows the story of the Evil Stepmother. She only has her own interests at heart. She treats the stepchild like a slave. She yells, berates, demeans, and discourages. She may even be trying to kill you.
Now, anyone who has dated and/or married someone with a child/children knows all too well that the stereotypical stepmother is one that not only the children latch onto, but too often the stepmother as well. With half of the women in the United States living with, married to, or going to be living with a man with children, the feeling of being a "Stepmonster" is all too real.
But never fear, Wednesday Martin has come to save step-relationships everywhere with this well-researched and well-written book. Martin uncovers the emotional mysteries of the stepmother- why does a stepmother think, act, and feel they way she does? Being in a relationship with a man with children is not for the selfish, lazy, or faint of heart. It is hard work to create any kind of relationship (especially the older the stepchildren are) at all, much less one that is based on mutual understanding and love.
Martin identifies five specific issues that create drama in the step-family, from the fairy tales and myths of the blended family to competitions. Martin writes from the knowing perspective of a woman who has been there, done that. The book is broken down into easily digestible "chunks" and there is more than enough food for thought. She splashes stories of real blended families and their conflicts throughout the book to shout "You're Not Alone!", and she doesn't pin the blame for the way things are in the step-family situation on anyone or anything, but uses even the Wicked Stepmother analogy to show how to gain understanding.
I recommend Stepmonster to stepmothers everywhere. I even think grown stepchildren could learn quite a lot from this book, even though it is targeted at the stepmother.
**I am giving away my copy of Stepmonster on Goodreads with the condition that the recipient reviews the book on their blog, Goodreads, Amazon, or another review site.
Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., was a regular contributor to the New York Post's parenting page for several years, and her work has appeared in a number of national magazines. She earned her doctorate in comparative literature from Yale and taught cultural studies and literature at Yale, the New School, and Baruch College. Martin, a stepmother for nine years, lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.