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As Good As I Could Be

As Good As I Could Be

A Memoir of Raising Wonderful Children in Difficult Times

Having children transforms us -- through the amazing power of our love for them and theirs for us, through the anger they can provoke, and because being good parents means we must accept that we are no longer children. In As Good as I Could Be, bestselling author Susan Cheever chronicles with passion and courage her own imperfect transformation, offering inspiration for other parents doing the best they can.
By relating the trials and triumphs of raising a daughter and a son Cheever illuminates some basic truths learned along the way: a family should not be a democracy; teaching your children to celebrate their mistakes helps them forgive yours; and a damaged childhood is not a guarantor of bad parenting. With unflinching honesty, Cheever tackles tantrums, divorce, eating disorders, and alcoholism, celebrating how she and her kids have weathered all this -- and more -- with love and respect intact.
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  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 192 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671034986 | 
  • May 2002
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Read an Excerpt

From Part One: Real Me

When my daughter was born eighteen years ago, my brother Fred and his wife sent her a stuffed brown bear with a white nose and tummy and a manufacturer's name tag which told us its name was "Snuffles." Snuffles joined the piles of plush bears, dogs, cats, frogs, and clowns in her room; she was my first child and my parents' first granddaughter, two facts which seemed to provoke stuffed animal buying orgies on the part of otherwise sensible people. But slowly, as she grew and learned to grab, cuddle, and express preferences, she gravitated toward Snuffles. As soon as she could gesture, she let us know that Snuffles... see more

About the Author

Susan Cheever
Michael Falco Photography

Susan Cheever

Susan Cheever is the bestselling author of thirteen previous books, including five novels and the memoirs Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark. Her work has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Boston Globe Winship Medal. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Corporation of Yaddo, and a member of the Author's Guild Council. She teaches in the Bennington College M.F.A. program. She lives in New York City with her family.




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