Kate Siegel writes in “Mother, Can you Not?” ($22, Crowne Archetype) about the sometimes difficult relationships between adult daughters and their mothers. Siegel started the Instagram handle @CrazyJewishMom, which now has 811,000 followers. The Instagram account features email and text messages between Siegel and her mother. Kim Friedman. No subject is off the table, and her mother has much concern about Siegel’s private parts and how she is not using them for the ultimate goal of making her a grandchild.
Siegel’s posts to her Instagram are hysterical and the portions of the book that highlight some of those posts provide more than a few chuckles. Many of us know or have a mother that insists on sharing too much information or giving too much advice.
Siegel provides a lesson in learning when you need to let go, take the helicopter rotor blades off your back and let your child grow up. Some of the best chapters are a cautionary tale as well of what not to do when your child goes off to college (Hint: Don’t fly across country and show up unannounced. You might not like what you find).
But the charm of Siegel’s Instagram account gets lost in the over explanation of the story behind her mother’s texts. I would have loved more of a curated version of the Instagram with a few brief sentences of explanation where needed and most of the time there’s no explaining Kim Friedman, rather than Siegel and her mother’s life story.