Although “Daddy’s girl” may be the more common trope, there is something special about a mother-daughter relationship, especially when that relationship develops into a professional partnership.
Mother-daughter duo Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella will be returning to Bethany Beach Books on Thursday, July 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the latest of the bookstore’s author events.
“Their newest essay collection is so heartwarming and perfect for summer that we could not put it down when we got an advanced copy of the book,” said Bethany Beach Books Events Coordinator Zandria Zielinski. “Lisa and Francesca have been coming to Bethany Beach Books for a few years now; however, after we read their newest collection, we knew we needed to get them back! Their essays are so relatable to so many people!”
The author event will showcase their most-recent collection of humorous and earnest essays, “I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses,” which reflects on their lives and their friendship.
“Nothing is off-limits. In fact, as we always say, ‘If it doesn’t make us cringe, it won’t make you laugh,’” Scottoline said.
The Philadelphia natives collaborate on a weekly column titled “Chick Wit” for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Essays from that column and additional previously unpublished essays have been collected into a series of memoirs, including “I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool,” “I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places,” “Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?,” “Have a Nice Guilt Trip,” “Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim,” “My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space” and “Best Friends, Occasional Enemies.”
“We write our essays completely separately — me in New York City, my mom on a farm in Pennsylvania,” Serritella said. “I joke that we work together, but across state lines — which is the safest way to work with your mother! So we don’t try to mimic each other’s tones. We are each our unfiltered self. And the ways the essays mirror each other or diverge is part of the story.”
The latest memoir is the eighth book they have written together. Each previous collection has earned the writers Earphones Awards.
“They are all inspired by our wish to talk about the real lives of women like us, and also help people look at the lighter side of their own lives,” Scottoline said. “And in these troubled times, I think that humor, truth and love are more important than ever before. And a glass of rosé never hurts.”
Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning writer of 31 novels. She has received the Fun, Fearless, Fiction Award from Cosmopolitan magazine, a Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University and a “Paving the Way” award from the University of Pennsylvania, Women in Business. She was also named a PW Innovator by Publisher’s Weekly.
However, Scottoline said her greatest accomplishment has been raising her daughter as a single mother. And the most fulfilling part of her career, she said, has been working with Serritella and expanding into humor writing.
“I think she speaks for so many people in her generation, and the things that concern her — career choices, dating and her beloved dog — are the same kind of things that concern other young people, and I think she speaks so clearly for them, but with a modest and self-deprecating manner,” Scottoline said.
As difficult as can be to be honest to an unacquainted audience, Serritella said she shares her experiences as a way to relate to others who may be overcoming similar struggles.
“Writing about your life is a vulnerable, often nerve-wracking experience. I challenge myself to be revealing, and it still keeps me up at night to know people will be reading and judging me,” Serritella said. “So, when a reader I’ve never met approaches me and says ‘That’s totally me, too,’ and opens up to me in return, that instant bond is so exciting and validating and touching to me. It really means the world to me when people relate and react positively.”
Serritella graduated from Harvard University with honors. Throughout her college career, she was awarded the Charles Edmond Horman Prize, the Baron Russell Briggs Prize and the Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize. She is currently working on her first novel.
The authors will give a talk at the bookstore and sign copies of “I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses.” The book is available for preorder and will be on sale July 10. Bethany Beach Books will be selling hardcover copies on the day of the event for $24.99.
“If you are unable to make it to the event you are able to pre-purchase their book on our website (www.bethanybeachbooks.com) to be signed and personalized,” Zielinski said.
By Ally Lanasa