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You Ruined My Life and You Stole My Bra: A Mother/Daughter Love Story
Anita Finlay. Independent, $15.95 trade paper (232p) ISBN 979-8-3869-4680-7
Actor Finlay (Dirty Words on Clean Skin) delivers a poignant and complicated ode to her late mother in this aptly titled memoir. Finlay’s mother, Toni, abandoned a promising singing career to marry her first husband and worked as a seamstress in New York City to support Finlay and her half sister. (Their father’s WWII-induced PTSD prevented him from holding down a job.) The marriage was volatile and Toni was a source of both maternal comfort and intense criticism throughout Finlay’s childhood. In the early 1990s, Finlay moved to L.A. to pursue acting. She soon booked a TV movie with Betty White and eventually landed a recurring role on The Young and the Restless. After Finlay’s father died in the aughts, she convinced her mother to move to L.A. For a time, their relationship stabilized, until Toni’s health began to fail and Finlay was tasked with navigating doctors and care facilities while reflecting on the help and harm the pair had offered to each other. While the material can get heavy, biting vignettes provide comic relief—in one, Finlay enlists her husband to tell her mom that she didn’t steal Toni’s bras, knowing her mother would believe a man over a woman. The result is a funny, moving testament to a thorny mother-daughter bond. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 11/03/2023

Release date 04/01/2023