Funny and heartwarming mother-daughter road trip

  • Book: Coffee Killed My Mother
  • Location: Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia
  • Author: Donna Koros Stramella

Review Author: Carol LaHines



Anna Lee is a pensive seventeen-year-old who sets off on a road trip along the eastern seaboard with her sixty-one-year-old inscrutable and frustrating and embarrassing mother. She keeps a journal entitled Why My Mother is Crazy, filled with hilarious examples like She buys wine bottles filled with coffee flavoring. But as the road trip progresses, Anna Lee learns about her mother’s own fraught history with her father and the provenance of her fear of water and arrives at an understanding of her flawed and complicated mother that is poignant and bittersweet. Humorous, heartfelt, well-paced, with rich details – the “Eggstremely Health Breakfast,” the “It Bears Repeating” thrift shop – this debut speaks to the fragility and durability of the mother-daughter bond and is laugh-out-loud funny.

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750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

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Entries close 15th November 2020