The Habit

The Habit

Title:The Habit
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781453221006
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:256 pages

There is an unmistakable gleam in Ma's eye, and her absolute composure both appalls me and rips my heart from its root. I burst into tears. The gauntlet is thrown.From the time she was conceived, Susan Morse was her mother's "special" child. For Susan, special translated into becoming her incorrigible mother's frazzled caretaker, a role that continued into adulthood. Now she finds herself as part of the sandwich generation, responsible for a woman whose eighty-five years have been single-mindedly devoted to identifying The Answer To Everything. And, this week's Answer looks like it may be the real thing.Susan's mother is becoming a nun.Mother Brigid is opinionated and discerning (Don't call them trash cans. They're scrap baskets ), feisty and dogmatic (Stop signs and No Parking zones are installed by bureaucratic pencil pushers with nothing better to do), a brilliant artist (truly, a saving grace), and predictably unpredictable, recently demonstrated by her decision to convert to Orthodox Christianity and join its holy order. Dressed in full nun regalia, she might be mistaken for a Taliban bigwig. But just as Mother Brigid makes her debut at church, a debilitating accident puts her in a rehab center hours from Susan's home, where Susan's already up to her neck juggling three teenagers, hot flashes, a dog, two cats, and a husband whose work pulls him away from the family for months at a time. Now Susan gets to find out if it's less exhausting to be at her mother's beck and call from one hundred miles away or one hundred feet. And she's beginning to suspect that the things she always thought she knew about her mother were only the tip of a wonderfully singular iceberg. In this fresh, funny, utterly irresistible memoir, Susan Morse offers readers a look at a mother-daughter relationship that is both universal and unique. For anyone who's wondered how they made it through their childhood with their sanity intact, for every multitasking woman coping simultaneously with parents and children, for those of us who love our parents come hell or high water (because we just can't help it), Susan Morse's story is surprising, reassuring, and laugh-out-loud funny. A beguiling journey of love, forbearance, and self-discovery, The Habit introduces two unforgettable women you'll be glad to know-from a safe distance."Susan's epic effort to differentiate herself from the consuming power of this unique woman is every woman's struggle, but writ large, crazy, and funny." -Rosanne Cash, author of Composed"Susan Morse writes in a dream state, and The Habit is funny and moving and wise. After reading it, you'll see Susan's mother in a whole new way, and your own mother, too." -Michael Bamberger, author of The Swinger"In her portrait of her hilarious and heroic struggle with an almost impossiblemother, Susan Morse has captured the mother-daughter paradox like no one else in recent memory." -Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, former editor of the New York Times Book Review"Morse's caustic, changeable, demanding, smarty-pants mother is a late-life Sharon Sedaris, had Sharon Sedaris lived and become an Orthodox Christian nun in her eighties, and Morse herself is a crackerjack guide." -Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I'm Like This"A page-turning, humorous account of one woman's experience during her difficult mother's turbulent journey into old age. . . . A lively testament to a complicated though loving mother-daughter relationship." -Kirkus Reviews"A sometimes searing, often hilarious account of a mother-daughter relationship Hallmark probably doesn't have a card for." -Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Daily NewsSusan Morse was educated at Williams College and has worked as an actress in L.A. and New York. She now lives in Philadelphia with her husband, David, and their three children. She has edited fiction, although this book is nonfiction. Mostly. She promises.


    The Habit Reviews

  • Leslie

    Reading "The Habit" was like sitting at a cozy café with a good friend, drinking coffee, sharing our souls and lives and laughing our asses off. The book begins and ends within the span of one year, ...

  • Kristen

    You might appreciate this book if you are the daughter of a difficult and narcissistic mother, and your filial sense of responsibility means that you are the person who is primarily responsible for he...

  • Mimi

    Huh. This is a wildly zany memoir from the daughter of a woman who becomes an Orthodox nun in her 80s. Obviously written from the perspective of someone who is not Orthodox, I was intrigued by how thi...

  • Priscilla

    Finished in less than a week warrants an "excellent" rating. ...

  • Liz

    Still Laughing!My mom lived until she was 94. Our family story was not as fraught with "craziness" and yet so much of Susan and her mom's story resonated with me! The love and the laughter are what is...

  • John Haake

    Not for me. I picked this book so that my wife and I could read it together and I was thinking my wife would like this because she has an interesting relationship with her mother.Sadly, I learned that...

  • Barbara

    part biography, part autobiography, Susan Morris humorously traces her "special" relationship with her difficult mother from a challenging childhood to the change in her mother which begins with her c...

  • Diane Lybbert

    This is a delightful memoir, written by actor David Morse's wife Susan. She tells of her uneven relationship with her mother as she was growing up, and now finds herself in the role of caretaker as he...

  • Emily

    Call me crazy (crazy!), but I usually rely on the book's synopsis to tell me what the book will be about. This was a case of false advertising by the synopsis. It's not about her mother's spiritual jo...

  • Lori

    This had moment of humor, empathy, enlightenment. It was well written. Unfortunately, the author misses something trying to write about the intimate details and emotions of the past while having the p...