As Good as I Could be: A Memoir about Raising Wonderful Children in Difficult Times

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Simon & Schuster, 2001 - Family & Relationships - 191 pages
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Having children transforms us -- by the amazing power of our love for them and theirs for us, by the anger they are able to evoke in us, and because in order to be good parents to our children, we must admit we are no longer children ourselves. In "As Good as I Could Be," bestselling author Susan Cheever describes that transformation in passionate, compelling, moving prose.

Susan is raising a daughter, 18, and a son, 11; they have all survived divorce, blending families, issues at school, eating disorders, and alcoholism. They have negotiated the rocky shoals of adolescence and the teenage years with their love and respect for each other intact. Cheever describes her children as smart, kind, and connected; "As Good as I Could Be" is the story of how that happened.

Cheever reveals the challenges, the joys, and the heartbreaks of being a parent. Using the domestic details of her family's life, she illuminates larger truths, starting with the most basic: in order to raise happy, stable, successful children, parents can't be afraid to use their authority -- financial, emotional, and experiential; a family is not -- and should not be -- a democracy; teaching your children to celebrate their mistakes may help them to forgive you yours; and no matter how damaged or unhappy an adult's childhood was, it should not affect the way they parent their children.

Provocative, perceptive, wise, and unflinchingly honest, "As Good as I Could Be" is a touchstone for all parents who are doing the best they can.

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AS GOOD AS I COULD BE: A Memoir About Raising Wonderful Children in Difficult Times

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

From her Newsday columns—here assembled, modified, and supplemented—Cheever offers a snack tray of platitudes about raising children.Cheever presents—like so many hors d'oeuvres—26 tasty but ... Read full review

As good as I could be: a memoir about raising wonderful children in difficult times

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Noted author and mother Cheever (daughter of the great American writer John Cheever) reflects on the importance of motherhood and tells us what having children has meant in her own life. Although not ... Read full review


Real Me
The Birth of a Parent
Might Makes Right?

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About the author (2001)

Susan Cheever has written nine previous books, including five novels and the memoirs Home Before Dark, Treetops, and Note Found in a Bottle. She has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Talk magazine, among other publications. She is a contributing writer for Architectural Digest and writes a weekly column for Newsday. She has appeared on The Today Show, 20/20, and CBS Sunday Morning. A Guggenheim fellow, Cheever teaches writing in the Bennington College MFA program. She lives in New York City.

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