On the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, Veronica Chambers mastered the whirling helixes of a double-dutch jump rope with the same finesse she brought to her schoolwork, her often troubled family life, and the demands of being overachieving and underprivileged. Her mother—a Panamanian immigrant—was too often overwhelmed by the task of raising Veronica and her difficult younger brother on her meager secretary’s salary to applaud her daughter’s achievements. From an early age, Veronica understood that the best she could do for her mother was to be a perfect child—to rewrite her Christmas wish lists to her mother’s budget, to look after her brother, to get by on her own.
Though her mother seemed to bear out the adage that «black women raise their daughters and mother their sons,» Veronica never stopped trying to do more, do better, do it all. And now, as a successful young woman who’s achieved more than her mother dared hope for her, she looks back on their mother-daughter bond. The critically acclaimed Mama’s Girl is a moving, startlingly honest memoir, in which Chambers shares some important truths about what we all really want from our mothers—and what we can give in return.