Book Review – Best Friends, Occasional Enemies

Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and DaughterBest Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

“If I’m yelling at you, you know I love you. Because I want your chest to keep going up and down, whether you’re my daughter or my mother. Or whether I’m your daughter or your mother. It’s all the same emotion, which is worry. Or love!”


How did I never know about these books/columns before?

This book is the third compilations of the “Chick Wit” column that mystery author Lisa Scottoline writes with her daughter, Francesca. Now, I’ve read quite a few Scottoline mysteries over the years; some I’ve liked, some not so much. I never knew that she also wrote comedy. I chuckled my way right through this book.

This was a last-minute library grab. I was looking to fill in the category for my 2016 Reading Challenge of a book with two authors, and didn’t even check to see what this was about before checking it out. Lisa Scottoline’s name was enough to get me. And I was totally shocked and surprised when I started laughing on the first page – I completely wasn’t expecting a book all about life as mothers and daughters in today’s world.

I’m in between the ages of the authors, so I could look back wistfully on my early years on my own in the world during Francesca’s essays, and ponder about times possibly to come during Lisa’s. Lisa’s own mother – Mother Mary in the book – is as much a character as if she wrote some of these bits and pieces herself – she’s hilarious!

And those book club members were right, Lisa, you shouldn’t be so hard on her. After all, you handed her the mike. (Yeah, you’ll have to read the book to get that reference, but it’s worth a read).

This is witty and charming, and covers everything from having to get an exterminator in your first apartment, to dealing with vet visits for beloved pets, to making ends meet, to eating too many carbs, to modern feminism. It’s about life and relationships between women, and while I had one moment of indignation (seriously, foot-binding took place in China, not Japan! The Japanese actually made it illegal when they took over rule of Taiwan!) I found the book to be, overall, a good read.

This was also a very quick read for me – a few short before-bed reads and I was done. That might have been because it was so light-hearted that it went quickly. I’d recommend this for a quick pick-me-up read, and I’m looking forward to looking for the others that they’ve written. If you’re a fan of old-school Erma Bombeck you will really enjoy this, as these ladies have a very, very similar sense of humour.

“But I hate socks.’ I do, especially sleeping in them. They always come half-off in the middle of the night, and why? What kind of inferior clothing item falls off of you when you’re lying still?”

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