Benny Bernstein's mother is pretty sure she has chlamydia
but isn't sure which boyfriend might have given it to her.
Her younger sister, Jami, is dating a gangbanger and has
spent at least one night in jail. Both of them disapprove
of Benny's life in L.A. and wonder when she's going to come
home and fix all of their problems (not that they would
ever admit to having them in the first place). If that
wasn't bad enough, Benny's new boyfriend breaks up with her
while giving her one last night of mind-blowing sex. It
isn't until Benny's mom reluctantly tells her that she
broke her leg, lost her job and totaled her car that Benny
decides she has to go home and face her family's mess.
As she steps out of the cab, Benny's hope that everything
will turn out all right crumbles the moment she lays eyes
on the house. There are feral cats sunning on every surface
in the yard, killer dogs chained to every tree and even an
iguana or two. The house and garage are packed with 40
years worth of garbage. After triumphantly losing 50 pounds
but coming home without a boyfriend, her mother delivers
the one-two punch of a non-compliment: "When you lose
weight like you did, it's hard to keep it all off. Odds are
you'll pack some of it back on. Don't want to waste your
skinniest days." Why did she ever decide coming home was
the right thing to do?
Over the next several weeks Benny must deal with cleaning
out her mother's house, getting her mother back on her feet
(and out of her cast), and salvaging her last remaining
shred of dignity as handsome Zack insists they're in love
with each other despite the pesky detail of having a wife.
With every layer of junk Benny delves through, more secrets
are revealed until they threaten to alienate everyone Benny
was once close to. Why can't moms just be moms and not be
In Pamela Ribon's delightful follow-up to WHY GIRLS
ARE WEIRD, she perfectly details the most screwed up family
since Laurie Notaro's. Laugh-out-loud funny and
bittersweet, WHY MOMS ARE WEIRD should definitely make your
must-read list this year!
Belinda "Benny" Bernstein doesn't brag about her life in
Los Angeles, but she is proud of her independence. She's
got a job and a place to live, and she even goes out on
dates now and again. But when Benny's mother and sister get
into a car accident, she drops everything to fly across the
country and help her injured, unemployed mom. The only
problem? She wasn't exactly invited -- and back in Virginia
she finds herself confronting every issue her family has
avoided for years, including her mom's thriving sex life
and her sister's wild nightlife.
Benny sets about fixing everything she thinks is broken at
home, including mounds of clutter and the personal lives of
the women she loves. But she soon stumbles upon a stack of
letters that may reveal her mother's darkest secret. Benny
only begins to understand her mom when she finds herself in
a similar dilemma -- torn between someone she can't have
and someone she thinks she shouldn't have. If Benny doesn't
sort things out before she's sucked into the family vortex
of dysfunction, there's no telling when she'll be able to
go home again . . . unless this is home, after all.