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Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir

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An only child, Deborah Burns grew up in prim 1950s America in the shadow of a her beautiful, unconventional, rule-breaking mother, Dorothy—a red-haired beauty who looked like Rita Hayworth and skirted norms with a style and flare that made her the darling of men and women alike. Married to the son of a renowned Italian family with ties to the underworld, Dorothy fervently An only child, Deborah Burns grew up in prim 1950s America in the shadow of a her beautiful, unconventional, rule-breaking mother, Dorothy—a red-haired beauty who looked like Rita Hayworth and skirted norms with a style and flare that made her the darling of men and women alike. Married to the son of a renowned Italian family with ties to the underworld, Dorothy fervently eschewed motherhood and domesticity, turning Deborah over to her spinster aunts to raise while she was the star of a vibrant social life. As a child, Deborah revered her charismatic mother, but Dorothy was a woman full of secrets with a troubled past—a mistress of illusion whose love seemed just out of her daughter’s grasp. In vivid, lyrical prose, Saturday’s Child tells the story of Deborah’s eccentric upbringing and her quest in midlife, long after her parents’ death, to uncover the truth about her mother and their complex relationship. No longer under the spell of her maternal goddess, but still caught in a wrenching cycle of love and longing, Deborah must finally confront the reality of her mother’s legacy—and finally claim her own.


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An only child, Deborah Burns grew up in prim 1950s America in the shadow of a her beautiful, unconventional, rule-breaking mother, Dorothy—a red-haired beauty who looked like Rita Hayworth and skirted norms with a style and flare that made her the darling of men and women alike. Married to the son of a renowned Italian family with ties to the underworld, Dorothy fervently An only child, Deborah Burns grew up in prim 1950s America in the shadow of a her beautiful, unconventional, rule-breaking mother, Dorothy—a red-haired beauty who looked like Rita Hayworth and skirted norms with a style and flare that made her the darling of men and women alike. Married to the son of a renowned Italian family with ties to the underworld, Dorothy fervently eschewed motherhood and domesticity, turning Deborah over to her spinster aunts to raise while she was the star of a vibrant social life. As a child, Deborah revered her charismatic mother, but Dorothy was a woman full of secrets with a troubled past—a mistress of illusion whose love seemed just out of her daughter’s grasp. In vivid, lyrical prose, Saturday’s Child tells the story of Deborah’s eccentric upbringing and her quest in midlife, long after her parents’ death, to uncover the truth about her mother and their complex relationship. No longer under the spell of her maternal goddess, but still caught in a wrenching cycle of love and longing, Deborah must finally confront the reality of her mother’s legacy—and finally claim her own.

30 review for Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marci

    An emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. I laughed.. I cried. I feel that I’ve lived vicariously through the author’s eyes. Such rich, vivid recollections and details, it reads like an intriguing novel. So full of emotion. I could not put this down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Katie Devine

    In this beautifully written memoir, which opens with a haunting dream about the author's decades-deceased mother, Burns pulls apart the tangled layers of a complex and complicated relationship in search of understanding and relief. Moving from her 1950s childhood in an unconventional family, constantly seeking but never receiving the extent of the love she needed from her mother, to her own present as a mother, this book endeavors to uncover and face truths long concealed in order to be released In this beautifully written memoir, which opens with a haunting dream about the author's decades-deceased mother, Burns pulls apart the tangled layers of a complex and complicated relationship in search of understanding and relief. Moving from her 1950s childhood in an unconventional family, constantly seeking but never receiving the extent of the love she needed from her mother, to her own present as a mother, this book endeavors to uncover and face truths long concealed in order to be released from the tight hold her mother and their relationship has always had on her. Particularly moving are scenes with her own daughter, and how much they teach her about herself, her mother and their legacy. A lovely debut from an eloquent and incisive writer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dawnny

    In this memoir by Deborah Burns we meet her mother Dorothy in the 1950's. A beautiful and deeply admired woman who married into an Italian family with dark ties into the underworld. Dorothy escapes motherhood by leaving Deborah with her aunt to raise her. Deborah describes her upbringing, the beautiful mother she idolized and longed for and the secrets she carried. A deep look into the life of girl and her mother. All that was and all that should have been. Dawnny-BookGypsy Novels N Latte Blog Hud In this memoir by Deborah Burns we meet her mother Dorothy in the 1950's. A beautiful and deeply admired woman who married into an Italian family with dark ties into the underworld. Dorothy escapes motherhood by leaving Deborah with her aunt to raise her. Deborah describes her upbringing, the beautiful mother she idolized and longed for and the secrets she carried. A deep look into the life of girl and her mother. All that was and all that should have been. Dawnny-BookGypsy Novels N Latte Blog Hudson Valley NY

  4. 5 out of 5

    E.

    I loved this book! It's such a poignant story about a daughter's unconditional love for her mother, who was beautiful and strong, but often missing in her life. Her mother loved to socialize and left much of Deborah's upbringing to her sisters. But Deborah idolized her and fought to win her love. It was a complicated relationship that Deborah examines as an adult in this beautifully written memoir. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy. A must-read! I loved this book! It's such a poignant story about a daughter's unconditional love for her mother, who was beautiful and strong, but often missing in her life. Her mother loved to socialize and left much of Deborah's upbringing to her sisters. But Deborah idolized her and fought to win her love. It was a complicated relationship that Deborah examines as an adult in this beautifully written memoir. I was fortunate to receive an advance copy. A must-read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Saturday’s Child” by Deborah Burns, She Writes Press, April 9, 2019 Deborah Burns has written a unique and intriguing Memoir,”Saturday’s Child” “A Daughter’s Memoir” The author describes her life in the 1950’s and especially her complex, complicated and atypical relationship with her Mother, whom she idolized. During those years for Dorothy, her mother broke with the typical rules of tradition. and seemed to beat to the tune of her own drum. Certainly by today’s st Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Saturday’s Child” by Deborah Burns, She Writes Press, April 9, 2019 Deborah Burns has written a unique and intriguing Memoir,”Saturday’s Child” “A Daughter’s Memoir” The author describes her life in the 1950’s and especially her complex, complicated and atypical relationship with her Mother, whom she idolized. During those years for Dorothy, her mother broke with the typical rules of tradition. and seemed to beat to the tune of her own drum. Certainly by today’s standards, Deborah’s Memoir reflects a dysfunctional family. Dorothy preferred working, and left her two sister-in laws to bring up Deborah, and cook and take care of the house. (which was really a small apartment) Deborah looked forward to the time she did get to spend with her mother. During summers away, the author describes the wonderful times that she had, when her mother was around. Deborah describes her mother as a beautiful woman, who always was the center of attention. One part I found amusing, was when Deborah was at the Beauty Parlor, and saw that her mother’s hair was being dyed red, and was surprised.That reminds me of my Grandma Rosie, who had been married at least three times, and had her hair dyed blond. I had also believed she was a natural blond. This is a beautifully written and vividly describes the author’s life growing up. This also shows how Deborah Burns reflects on her relationship with her mother, and successfully builds her own life. I would recommend this for readers who enjoy Memoirs.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bostonlotus

    An egotistical woman wrote about how great she was because she was raised by an egotistical woman who always thought she was too goo-...Yeah, skip it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I really didn't understand this book. The author idolized her mother in such a way that I just had the creeps while reading. Over and over we are told (pretty much in every single paragraph) how stunningly beautiful her mother was. How she stopped conversation just by entering a room because everyone was in awe of her beauty. Then you get to the photo section and I just didn't see it. The author still seems obsessed with her mother. I ended up having to skip over most of the last 6 chapters beca I really didn't understand this book. The author idolized her mother in such a way that I just had the creeps while reading. Over and over we are told (pretty much in every single paragraph) how stunningly beautiful her mother was. How she stopped conversation just by entering a room because everyone was in awe of her beauty. Then you get to the photo section and I just didn't see it. The author still seems obsessed with her mother. I ended up having to skip over most of the last 6 chapters because I lost interest in all of the characters. The only likeable one, and the only one for whom I felt sympathy, was her father.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    I read a fair number of memoirs, mostly by women trying to figure out their lives. What happened and who happened are primarily the questions asked...and answered (at least in part) by these authors. Sometimes the questions can't be answered and the author continues to drift. The best and most psychologically sound authors can admit what they've come up with in their searches and move on. Deborah Burns has written "Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir", in which she tries to put the pieces of h I read a fair number of memoirs, mostly by women trying to figure out their lives. What happened and who happened are primarily the questions asked...and answered (at least in part) by these authors. Sometimes the questions can't be answered and the author continues to drift. The best and most psychologically sound authors can admit what they've come up with in their searches and move on. Deborah Burns has written "Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir", in which she tries to put the pieces of her early life together to form a picture of her parents and how they related to each other and to her. Deborah Burns was an only child of a marriage that probably shouldn't have happened. Why it didn't end by divorce years earlier than it ended by death is a mystery I still haven't figured out. Her father, Jay, was from a famous Italian family, known for pugilism and owning a hotel in upstate New York for summer visitors. Think Jewish Catskills, but substitute Italian for Jewish. Her mother, Dorothy, was a looker from a family-from-hell who was looking for a way out, a man out. Jay and Dottie found each other, married, produced one child, and endured an unhappy marriage. How unhappy, you might ask? Well, Dottie had a boyfriend - married, as she was - for the last 30 or so years of her life. Why didn't Jay file for divorce? Who knows...I guess that 5 nights a week with gorgeous Dottie was better than no nights. While the book concerns her parents, it's mainly about Deborah and Dottie's relationship. Dottie was a classic narcissist; she could receive love but couldn't give back. It has taken therapy for Deborah to recognise and make her peace with her mother's memory. Deborah Burns is a good writer. I'm giving her book 3 stars because I had as many questions when I finished reading it as I did when I began.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Thank you to Readers View for this book. I found it interesting that her mom was such a hands-off mother and left all the things to be done by her sisters-in-laws (Debbie's aunts who lived with them). Her father was never a part of their lives it seems either. I know that she wanted more love from her mother. The word narcissist was thrown around a lot about Dottie and I find this is true and was never home and always flitting around but then it was necessary to get a job. Her husband Jay was no Thank you to Readers View for this book. I found it interesting that her mom was such a hands-off mother and left all the things to be done by her sisters-in-laws (Debbie's aunts who lived with them). Her father was never a part of their lives it seems either. I know that she wanted more love from her mother. The word narcissist was thrown around a lot about Dottie and I find this is true and was never home and always flitting around but then it was necessary to get a job. Her husband Jay was not much part of her life it seems. The second half of the book was about Debbie and I found it a little too tedious with her job. Her family was #1 priority and it hardly mentioned her husband but she did reflect on her meeting him and her three kids when they were born, especially Elizabeth, her only daughter who traveled with her when she went overseas for her job. It wasn't the best memoir/autobiography I read and it was sort of dry reading to me.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Daniele

    A loving memoir about a daughter who adores her unconventional mother. Deborah reveals the layers of the complex relationship she had with her larger than life mother, Dorothy. Growing up in the shadow of her glamorous mother ultimately nutured Deborah with the confidence to blossom into a successful woman of her own right.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather Frimmer

    This poetic memoir is a beautiful tribute to the author's magnetic and unconventional mother. The author honors her mother's life and incredible spirit through the most generous of viewpoints. I am in awe of her gorgeous prose and ability to craft a compulsively readable story. Don't miss this one! This poetic memoir is a beautiful tribute to the author's magnetic and unconventional mother. The author honors her mother's life and incredible spirit through the most generous of viewpoints. I am in awe of her gorgeous prose and ability to craft a compulsively readable story. Don't miss this one!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Booklover BEV

    Debbie and her mother Dotty have a dream to go to London together. Even decades after her mother's death the dream keep occurring, they shared everything together, even birthday parties. Her father they hardly saw through work, and Debbie was looked after by her Aunt Lena in the queens apartment in New York. What an enchanting true story, that's truly loved, as we go through Debbies life. This book is a must read from chapter one and I was so engrossed in the story. A inspiration to read till th Debbie and her mother Dotty have a dream to go to London together. Even decades after her mother's death the dream keep occurring, they shared everything together, even birthday parties. Her father they hardly saw through work, and Debbie was looked after by her Aunt Lena in the queens apartment in New York. What an enchanting true story, that's truly loved, as we go through Debbies life. This book is a must read from chapter one and I was so engrossed in the story. A inspiration to read till the end.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    "Saturday's Child," a memoir by Deborah Burns, will stay with you. The writing alone - so smooth you hardly know a chapter has ended - demonstrates Burns's craftsmanship. What entranced me was the authenticity of the writer as she writes without prejudice about the relationship she shared with her mother. One of the most appealing sections of this "daughter's memoir" revolves around Burns's two aunts who lived with her as surrogate mothers. I truly became attached to them and even felt a tug to "Saturday's Child," a memoir by Deborah Burns, will stay with you. The writing alone - so smooth you hardly know a chapter has ended - demonstrates Burns's craftsmanship. What entranced me was the authenticity of the writer as she writes without prejudice about the relationship she shared with her mother. One of the most appealing sections of this "daughter's memoir" revolves around Burns's two aunts who lived with her as surrogate mothers. I truly became attached to them and even felt a tug to reread those pages in the book. As a reader, I wanted the story to continue. . . slow down, even. My interest in the relationship didn't stop when I finished reading. The narrator's strong voice latched on to me immediately. I promise you that certain lines will stay with you. Read it slowly to savor it. I read an early copy and look forward to the publication.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda Ganzini

    Saturday's Child completely absorbed me. I love a book based on a true story, especially one told as boldly and honestly as this one—an exceptional memoir and debut! Deborah Burns' vivid cinematic details come to life on the page transporting me back in time to my childhood memories. Like Burns, when I was a child, I preferred the company of adults. I watched them with curious eyes and big open ears, wishing I were living their lives—what appeared to be a far more glamorous world than mine. It w Saturday's Child completely absorbed me. I love a book based on a true story, especially one told as boldly and honestly as this one—an exceptional memoir and debut! Deborah Burns' vivid cinematic details come to life on the page transporting me back in time to my childhood memories. Like Burns, when I was a child, I preferred the company of adults. I watched them with curious eyes and big open ears, wishing I were living their lives—what appeared to be a far more glamorous world than mine. It was a joy reading these pages, written by an intelligent, thoughtful, and elegant writer. Saturday's Child explores the unique relationship between a mother and daughter. Burns shares her experience growing up in a not-so-conventional family, her quest for truth, understanding, and unconditional love, ultimately leading her to the answers setting her heart free and finding inner peace. This book takes you on the author's full-circle journey to self—we are our mother's daughters—a relationship worth exploring deeper for us all. I wish more people were as strong and allowed themselves to be vulnerable enough to do the work so that we can heal, becoming better parents, siblings, partners, friends. In reading about Burns’ relationship with her mother, I reflected on my relationship with mine and other family relationships. Uncovering the root cause of conflict can take most of us a lifetime, if ever. Saturday's Child is the perfect book to open up a discussion with the ones you love, and more importantly, with the relationship you have with yourself. Thank you for writing this beautiful, poignant book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather (tales.of.a.bookbound.mom)

    It’s sometimes difficult for me to adequately express all my thoughts and feelings about memoirs in particular, so bear with me. . I very much admire the author’s honesty and appreciate how difficult and emotional it must have been to put it all out there, so to speak. Upon looking back, Deborah realizes that her mothers perceived aloofness was a different kind of love, but some parts honestly made me sad. It shows just how different each parent-child relationship can be and it made me examine my It’s sometimes difficult for me to adequately express all my thoughts and feelings about memoirs in particular, so bear with me. . I very much admire the author’s honesty and appreciate how difficult and emotional it must have been to put it all out there, so to speak. Upon looking back, Deborah realizes that her mothers perceived aloofness was a different kind of love, but some parts honestly made me sad. It shows just how different each parent-child relationship can be and it made me examine my own relationship with my kids. What we say to them and how we act towards them have a huge impact and without a doubt affects how they see themselves and what they want from life. . Seeing all that her mother accomplished career-wise shaped Deborah’s desire to have a successful career, which she very much did/does. Likewise, growing up under her mother’s parenting style shaped her goal to be a different type of mother and be more present in their lives. So again, how our children see us live our lives has a big impact on what they want from life and what’s important to them. And just because they may not choose the same as us it doesn’t mean they love us any less. We all appreciate and learn from different aspects of our childhood. . This is a meaningful account of perception, discovery, and love. Deborah’s journey to find out who she really is later in life is inspiring. It also delivers a lot for parents to think about. I’m sure I’ll be turning it all over in my mind for a while.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Reader Views

    Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/19) “Saturday’s Child” by Deborah Burns is a beautifully written memoir of a mother-daughter relationship, and a child’s longing for the attention and love of her mother. Ms. Burns shares thoughts and feelings from her childhood that shows her vulnerability and innocence. Her childhood comes to life through her incredible writing which allows the reader to feel the author’s emotions and connect deeply with her. This memoir chronicles the life of t Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/19) “Saturday’s Child” by Deborah Burns is a beautifully written memoir of a mother-daughter relationship, and a child’s longing for the attention and love of her mother. Ms. Burns shares thoughts and feelings from her childhood that shows her vulnerability and innocence. Her childhood comes to life through her incredible writing which allows the reader to feel the author’s emotions and connect deeply with her. This memoir chronicles the life of the author and her mother, from early childhood on, sharing the intimate hopes and desires of a child yearning for the love of her mother. From summers in a hotel resort, crammed living quarters, secrets and dreams left unfulfilled, this book is full of rich stories. I think most people can find part of themselves in this story because the author does an amazing job of sharing the vulnerability she felt as a child wanting to be worthy of being loved by her mother. Ms. Burns finds meaning in her life experiences as she connects the dots with the help of therapy, family, astrology and her own introspection. The author embraces her experiences, good and bad to create a fulfilling and meaningful life for herself. She also acquires a nickname when she starts working, the velvet hammer, which holds meaning for her throughout her life. She sets a powerful example for all that we can use the life story we were given and create what we want with it. I was absolutely inspired by this book. I can’t say enough about the incredible writing by Ms. Burns. This memoir reads like a novel, captivating the reader from the onset. This is a book you won’t want to put down once you start. I highly recommend it for anyone, but particularly those who want to learn about their own relationship with their mother through this author’s beautiful and raw story. “Saturday’s Child” by Deborah Burns has been a true gift for me as I never expected to have my heart and mind opened so fully by reading this book. Thank you, Ms. Burns, for sharing a piece of your heart. I am forever changed by reading this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    SundayAtDusk

    This may be the only memoir I’ve read about a "narcissistic" mother who did not mistreat her oldest or only daughter. In fact, the author’s mother appeared to be a relatively good mother when she was around. It’s not that she was “missing” most of the time, either, but she did have a schedule where her social life was not hampered by her maternal obligations or job. Two of her husband’s single sisters lived with the family, in a very small apartment, and basically played nannies, housekeepers an This may be the only memoir I’ve read about a "narcissistic" mother who did not mistreat her oldest or only daughter. In fact, the author’s mother appeared to be a relatively good mother when she was around. It’s not that she was “missing” most of the time, either, but she did have a schedule where her social life was not hampered by her maternal obligations or job. Two of her husband’s single sisters lived with the family, in a very small apartment, and basically played nannies, housekeepers and cooks. It reminded me of stories of wealthy or aristocratic women who had scheduled times to see and be with their children, since they could afford nannies, housekeepers and cooks. Only, Deborah Burn’s beautiful mother was far from being wealthy and was not a member of any royal family. Her childhood was one of great unhappiness and little money, and she appeared to marry the author's father to get away from home. He pursued her, though, when she was a teenager and he was in his thirties. His brother was boxer Tony Canzoneri, who owned a Italian resort in upstate New York, and that is where her parents met. It all was obviously enough for her, although she did pursue modeling and acting for a while. Her only daughter adored, if not worshipped her, and they never even had a real argument until right before her daughter was getting married. Idolizing someone, even when a child does so with a parent, is always a sign something is not “real” in a relationship. Only after her mother’s death, did the author encounter the reality of that, after going to both an astrologer and a counselor. She finally understood some important things about her mother, yet I still found it difficult to see her mother as being narcissistic where her daughter was concerned. I guess because, as mentioned earlier, narcissistic mothers are usually very emotionally abusive to their children, especially an only or oldest daughter. Her mother was not, as described in this book. She also appeared not competitive with her daughter, as narcissistic mothers often can be, jealous of their child’s youth and new opportunities. No, she was not a perfect mother, and definitely not a great wife or relative to her husband’s sisters. Maybe, though, her daughter should have figured some things out on her own about their relationship before her thirties. Ms. Burns is apparently a wonderful, absolutely adoring mother to her own three children, and also excelled fabulously in her career. She provided more than ample proof of that. (Maybe there was some competition going on here, but it wasn’t the mother who was the competitive one.) Hence, it’s just too hard to find fault with her childhood in a way that creates much sympathy for her. Not that it seemed like the author was looking for sympathy, since she actually presented an image of her mother that was more intriguing than negligent. So, why are we here? Seriously, if you are looking for a “bad” mommy story, there are many, many more memoirs you could read, instead of this one. This memoir is more for someone looking for a story about an interesting mother of her time, and a daughter who could not resist idolizing her, for a long, long time. Just don’t be too jolted when, towards the end of the book, her adored mother is suddenly outed by her daughter as having been "narcissistic", something one could certainly never accuse her daughter of being.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Jenkinson

    In this beautifully written memoir, the author paints a vivid picture of her mother Dorothy and a supporting cast of family members who frequently took center stage in raising Deborah. Dorothy was glamorous, beautiful, and captured the attention of family, friends and strangers alike. But unfortunately, she was not your typical mother and relinquished most of the day to day motherly tasks to Deborah's aunts, Lily and Lena. Deborah's father, from a large Italian family, married Dorothy who, unbekno In this beautifully written memoir, the author paints a vivid picture of her mother Dorothy and a supporting cast of family members who frequently took center stage in raising Deborah. Dorothy was glamorous, beautiful, and captured the attention of family, friends and strangers alike. But unfortunately, she was not your typical mother and relinquished most of the day to day motherly tasks to Deborah's aunts, Lily and Lena. Deborah's father, from a large Italian family, married Dorothy who, unbeknownst to him, was significantly younger. He had big dreams and was an aspiring songwriter but with a far from conventional spouse or marriage, he spent a lot of time moving from one deal to the next. Deborah spent much of her time with her mother seeking her approval and love that always seemed just out of reach. This struggle was a big piece of her memoir and Deborah did a wonderful job of untangling years of family history, secrets, and truths in a seamless telling that spanned multiple generations. Full disclosure: I do not read a lot of memoirs. For me, often there isn't a good rhythm and I end up feeling like I am voyeuristically reading someone's journal.  That was not the case here. Burns was able to tell her story in such a way that it read like a well-written novel with fascinating characters. She successfully captured each person's personality through her eyes first as a child, then as a teen, adult, and finally as a mother herself. Some characters, like her aunts, I grew to love. I developed a soft spot for her father. Her mother - my feelings were mixed as a complicated mother/daughter relationship unfolded. My other issue with memoirs: most of the family members are portrayed in a terrible light. And that's not to say that there aren't terrible family members in families because we all have them in our lives. But Deborah found a way in both the book and in her own life to honor her mother but still use her painful experiences to succeed in her career, her marriage, and as a mother. I finished this book with a deep admiration for Deborah and for me, that is a sign of an excellent memoir.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rita Dragonette

    Deborah Burns has penned a memoir around the incredible character of a beautiful, self-absorbed mother who deserved a bigger life that she was able to achieve in her time, and who fiercely worked to push it to the edge of the envelope as much as she could. This woman (who would make a great, central character in a work of fiction) turns her family into facilitators who obligingly and not always wittingly enable her to be as independent as possible. There are secrets and mixed messages that unfol Deborah Burns has penned a memoir around the incredible character of a beautiful, self-absorbed mother who deserved a bigger life that she was able to achieve in her time, and who fiercely worked to push it to the edge of the envelope as much as she could. This woman (who would make a great, central character in a work of fiction) turns her family into facilitators who obligingly and not always wittingly enable her to be as independent as possible. There are secrets and mixed messages that unfold into understanding only over a lifetime. The story is told through her adoring only-child daughter whose goal in life is to get her love and attention and who lives off the glow of their moments together. This tale of the impact of a character who looms so large and can’t help but always chose herself, is riveting during the daughter’s early childhood, when all she can do is react. It becomes more contemplative through the stages of her life through to the present as she grapples with influences negative and ultimately positive. A very personal, cathartic story that his highly relatable for anyone who has a dominant yet distant mother, leaving the child to wonder why, and spend the inevitable life’s journey sifting the evidence to achieve resolution and peace.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dori

    Although my mother was totally unlike this author’s, I found this memoir irresistible. Burns’s mother, Dotty, was a stunningly beautiful, buxom redhead who dressed to the nines with glittery baubles, went out on the town several nights a week, and made sure everyone in the family revolved around her own wishes. As her only child, the author grew up loving her mother and trying constantly to please her, shocked again and again by her Sicilian father’s kidnapping, her mother’s secret affair, and r Although my mother was totally unlike this author’s, I found this memoir irresistible. Burns’s mother, Dotty, was a stunningly beautiful, buxom redhead who dressed to the nines with glittery baubles, went out on the town several nights a week, and made sure everyone in the family revolved around her own wishes. As her only child, the author grew up loving her mother and trying constantly to please her, shocked again and again by her Sicilian father’s kidnapping, her mother’s secret affair, and revelations of hidden identity. No novelist could make this up! What made the book worthwhile, though, is how this daughter grew out of her mother’s shadow and into her own identity and learned, later in life, how to make emotional sense of her unusual childhood. She finds a much healthier balance of motherhood and fulfilling work and later seeks out inspiration in women who managed to skirt the rules and reinvent their lives. That took persistence and strength of character I admire. At midlife, Deborah Burns left a high-profile career in magazine publishing to create an intriguing website about women reinventing their lives at midlife, called “Skirting the Rules.” Check it out!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sylvia Dominick

    Deborah Burns, author of Saturday's Child used a tremendous amount of courage to put this memoir of her childhood into words! From the very beginning until she reached some peace through therapy and introspection, my heart literally aches for this little girl. She spent her life having her mother on a pedestal, seeking whatever meager attention she could get from her. She was never enough, and that's a horrible feeling for any child. I didn't care for her mother, who only did what made her happy Deborah Burns, author of Saturday's Child used a tremendous amount of courage to put this memoir of her childhood into words! From the very beginning until she reached some peace through therapy and introspection, my heart literally aches for this little girl. She spent her life having her mother on a pedestal, seeking whatever meager attention she could get from her. She was never enough, and that's a horrible feeling for any child. I didn't care for her mother, who only did what made her happy, rather than experiencing her daughter's childhood, and all the magic that children bring to our lives! Thank God for her aunts who loved her unconditionally, and wiped her years as needed. I can honestly say that this book bolstered my belief that children possess a resilience beyond belief! Deborah, you have a writing style that is impeccable, and the pictures certainly added to the beauty of this book! I can't imagine how painful it has been for you to grasp the reality, but you have done a masterful job of capturing each moment. Thanks so much for sharing this, and keep on writing! You have been given an impressive gift!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Book Review: Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir by Deborah Burns The quest for belonging with a vivid look into the world of a brutally honest relationship between Mother and Daughter will have you captured. Deborah Burns has created an illuminating and alluring look into what was her life was as a young girl, growing up in the 1950s, while in the shadows of a narcissistic mother. It's painful, insightful and personal. It's an emotionally charged story without contempt and one of breaking free Book Review: Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir by Deborah Burns The quest for belonging with a vivid look into the world of a brutally honest relationship between Mother and Daughter will have you captured. Deborah Burns has created an illuminating and alluring look into what was her life was as a young girl, growing up in the 1950s, while in the shadows of a narcissistic mother. It's painful, insightful and personal. It's an emotionally charged story without contempt and one of breaking free and reaching for reconciliation and peace. A brutally honest debut that will leave you cheering for Deborah's strength and ownership of her struggles, and journey into womanhood. I thank Deborah Burns for my personal, signed copy, of this story as it has allowed me to see more clearly, the dynamic of Mother and Daughter-that is not always what we believe it too be, from the outside looking in. 4 Stars Wild Sage Book Blog (FB) Novels & Latte Book Club (FB) #SaturdaysChild #DeborahBurns

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    3.5 Stars "Saturday's Child" is actually a pretty good debut memoir. Deborah Burns is easy to read and effortlessly draws the reader into this tale of her growing up years in New York City during the fifties with her willful, self-absorbed mother who made sure that the world revolved around herself ("Dottie"), including her only child, Debbie who (it appears) worshipped at her feet. Debbie was fortunately left in the capable hands of her two maiden paternal aunts, while Dottie pursued life and be 3.5 Stars "Saturday's Child" is actually a pretty good debut memoir. Deborah Burns is easy to read and effortlessly draws the reader into this tale of her growing up years in New York City during the fifties with her willful, self-absorbed mother who made sure that the world revolved around herself ("Dottie"), including her only child, Debbie who (it appears) worshipped at her feet. Debbie was fortunately left in the capable hands of her two maiden paternal aunts, while Dottie pursued life and beauty on her own terms. Although, she never divorced Debbie's father, this didn't stop Dottie from pursuing a long-standing affair that lasted over many decades. It eventually becomes clear in the narrative that Debbie tries to rationalize her mother's neglect by altering her personal relationship with her own children. Here is where the story falters and shakes, and it seems that Debbie perhaps protesteth a little too much because in the gaps of her narrative it appears likely that she probably absorbed quite unintentionally some of Dottie's sad lessons.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ilene English

    Saturday's Child is about a mother who isn’t really able to truly show love to her young daughter. It is a sad tale, beautifully written and poignant. We are witness to the child always the perfectly good girl, the adoring daughter, clearly (from the reader's point of view) in hopes that she might receive a few crumbs of her mother’s love and affection. I was relieved that her mother was never cruel, just distant and self-absorbed, which in itself felt like a form of abuse, one so subtle that th Saturday's Child is about a mother who isn’t really able to truly show love to her young daughter. It is a sad tale, beautifully written and poignant. We are witness to the child always the perfectly good girl, the adoring daughter, clearly (from the reader's point of view) in hopes that she might receive a few crumbs of her mother’s love and affection. I was relieved that her mother was never cruel, just distant and self-absorbed, which in itself felt like a form of abuse, one so subtle that the daughter is never sure if the problem is with her. The book deepens towards the end as the author is profoundly awakened to understand how her devotion to her mother was a survival strategy rather than all-out love and adoration. In the end, the author is able to come around to truly and authentically own the deep love that she had for this fascinating woman she called mother, and in the process, claims her own power and ability to love herself. BTW, the artwork on the book's cover says it all.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Barb Beyer

    Revelation I really enjoyed this memoir Saturday's Child by Deborah Burns. It's always amazing to me how far back in time a person can recall their childhood feelings, situations, dreams, and even certain scents and feelings. This author has great recall of all of that, and more. She adored her mother and longed for her attention constantly as a child. Her mother had a special aura, and being in her light felt wonderful for young Deborah, but she could never seem to get enough from her free-spiri Revelation I really enjoyed this memoir Saturday's Child by Deborah Burns. It's always amazing to me how far back in time a person can recall their childhood feelings, situations, dreams, and even certain scents and feelings. This author has great recall of all of that, and more. She adored her mother and longed for her attention constantly as a child. Her mother had a special aura, and being in her light felt wonderful for young Deborah, but she could never seem to get enough from her free-spirited mother. She was a woman ahead of her time who took little interest in the domestic duties most women were expected to undertake in those times. This is a good story of the author coming to terms with her feelings of abandonment and reconciling with the past, and actually having an entirely enlightened view of the past as she wonders if she's done right by her own daughter. Highly recommend.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sophia Kouidou-Giles

    Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir by Deborah Burns (2019) ISBN: 9781631525476 A beautifully written memoir, it is about an only child who grows up under her mother’s shadow in upstate New York. Her father, a musical man, owns a vacation Hotel and her domineering mother is a glamorous and narcissistic character. Life unfolds at the hotel in the summer and in an apartment in Queens, New York. Slow to rebel as she observes other teens, Deborah discovers freedoms and begins exploring an independe Saturday's Child: A Daughter's Memoir by Deborah Burns (2019) ISBN: 9781631525476 A beautifully written memoir, it is about an only child who grows up under her mother’s shadow in upstate New York. Her father, a musical man, owns a vacation Hotel and her domineering mother is a glamorous and narcissistic character. Life unfolds at the hotel in the summer and in an apartment in Queens, New York. Slow to rebel as she observes other teens, Deborah discovers freedoms and begins exploring an independent identity. An adoring daughter, a career woman, married and mother of three children, she searches for answers about her parents’ relationship, their unhappy marriage and learns about her mother’s affair after her father’s death. She reframes the past, and cares for her mother when she is weakened by illness and dies of breast cancer. As she uncovers family secrets, the author gains a better understanding of herself and her relationship with her mother. A satisfying read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Winnie

    I was all set to give this three stars until the last part of the book -- dropped it to two stars. The author grew up in the shadow of her unconventional (a.k.a. narcissistic) mother. Successful in her own right, Burns looks back on her life – and the life of her mother – in order to move forward. This leads to her own self-discovery. The author’s relationship with her mother and other family members during her growing up years was interesting. Maybe I just enjoyed the nostalgia because like the I was all set to give this three stars until the last part of the book -- dropped it to two stars. The author grew up in the shadow of her unconventional (a.k.a. narcissistic) mother. Successful in her own right, Burns looks back on her life – and the life of her mother – in order to move forward. This leads to her own self-discovery. The author’s relationship with her mother and other family members during her growing up years was interesting. Maybe I just enjoyed the nostalgia because like the author, I grew up in the 1950s. Then Burns shifts into what comes across as self-promotion (a.k.a. narcissistic). I just did not enjoy that part of the book. However, the author is obviously a gifted strategist and writing this book seems to be a stepping stone for the next phase of her life. Like her mother, she's beautiful, she's smart, and she's successful.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eddi

    Book about a narcissist written by a narcissist I could barely make it through this book. Yes, the mother was a very interesting character. The father and aunts were lovable, if not a little flat. The memories of the family hotel were rich. The stories of the !other and father are also worth telling. However, her writing is so journalistic! She just tells the story without any art. When she tries to write a beautiful phrase it comes out strained and overwritten. When the author leaves home a d be Book about a narcissist written by a narcissist I could barely make it through this book. Yes, the mother was a very interesting character. The father and aunts were lovable, if not a little flat. The memories of the family hotel were rich. The stories of the !other and father are also worth telling. However, her writing is so journalistic! She just tells the story without any art. When she tries to write a beautiful phrase it comes out strained and overwritten. When the author leaves home a d begins a successful upward trajectory in her career and family.life -- the rest of the novel is a nearby comparison about how she finally outshine her !other. This bragging h goes on for WAY too long. She e an takes us to her counse?ing sessions with just where thd"discoveries

  29. 5 out of 5

    Reena G

    A beautiful poignant memoir about a mother daughter relationship, the secrets families keep and the desire to learn the truth. Deborah Burns talks about her complex relationship with her mother Dottie while growing up in her shadow. She looked up to her and admired her in spite of her shortcomings. She being an only child craved for her mother’s attention and love. Her mother a self absorbed woman did not know how to give love to her husband and his family including her own daughter. The author A beautiful poignant memoir about a mother daughter relationship, the secrets families keep and the desire to learn the truth. Deborah Burns talks about her complex relationship with her mother Dottie while growing up in her shadow. She looked up to her and admired her in spite of her shortcomings. She being an only child craved for her mother’s attention and love. Her mother a self absorbed woman did not know how to give love to her husband and his family including her own daughter. The author however in later years of her life was able to find her true identity and the sense of belonging and forgive her mother. I truly enjoyed reading this beautiful memoir and readers will definitely enjoy this unputdownable debut novel. Thank you Peace Love Books and Deborah Burns for your giveaway which I devoured.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Gatt

    Every minute was worth immersing myself in this impressive memoir! Burns beautifully invites reader’s into her journey as a child in the 1950s and how she’s evolved as an adult, wife, mother and professional. The primary focus is on Deborah’s relationship with her mother Dottie and how it’s significantly impacted her emotions, relationships and decisions along each step of the way.⁣ ⁣ If you’re looking for a memoir with unique perspectives and captivating prose, this is the book for you! Get ready Every minute was worth immersing myself in this impressive memoir! Burns beautifully invites reader’s into her journey as a child in the 1950s and how she’s evolved as an adult, wife, mother and professional. The primary focus is on Deborah’s relationship with her mother Dottie and how it’s significantly impacted her emotions, relationships and decisions along each step of the way.⁣ ⁣ If you’re looking for a memoir with unique perspectives and captivating prose, this is the book for you! Get ready to become obsessed with this mother-daughter duo and the raw, vulnerable revelations that slowly unravel about identity, perception and truth. ⁣

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