In my mother's Skin
Available in French - 2019
In my second novel, I’ve given a voice to Chloe’s mother, Mrs. Berkovitch, thus creating an intimate narrative of the fragile relationship between a mother and a daughter. In her own words she recounts her blunders, her inattention, the family’s history of leaving things unsaid. Until a terminal illness brings Chloe to her bedside, giving Mrs. Berkovitch a chance to seek forgiveness and Chloe a chance to accompany her mother’s final moments. Two voices: a mother who was always first a wife, and a daughter remembering her now-deceased mother. Neither of these two women hold an absolute truth, but their mother-daughter connection remains invincible despite their traumatic past.
About the book
“I don’t miss you, Mom, because you were never there.” Chloe has always lived with this maternal loss. But it is her mother’s both severe and touching narrative that reveals, little by little, their fragile relationship. The family’s suffocating and endless silences create an even greater emotional distance between the two women. Mrs. Berkovitch is the perfect wife, executing flawlessly the orders of her career-obsessed husband. He is all that matters to her. Although wanting to build a strong family unit, she continually breaks it down by spoiling her son Martin and acting as a shield between Chloe and her father. She can’t help herself and she ends up unable to forge these family relationships. Only a long illness will enable her to repair so much unhappiness. To understand her behavior, the author slips beneath the skin of the woman who brought her into this world. The narrative reveals an awkward mother who finally explains her coldness, her lack of maternal instinct. And when Mrs. Berkovitch’s first cancer appears, the two women rediscover a closeness. Suffering and in pain, fighting against a leukemia that will eventually take her life, she is resigned to a final countdown. She must not forget certain acts before she dies, she must find the words she’s buried for so many years: to tell her daughter how much she truly loves her. Mrs. Berkovitch confronts her fate with complete honesty and grants Chloe the chance to share her final moments, in a perfect intimacy of hearts and minds. How will Chloe, in the throes of a devastating grief, survive her mother’s decline, her last breath, and final heartbeat?A poignant novel about two women from clashing generations, journeying together in the moments before death when modesty steps aside to leave room for forgiveness.