The Mama Chronicles
A beautifully written memoir of a Mississippi woman learning to reconnect with her aging mother
Growing up in the Delta town of Yazoo City, Mississippi, Teresa Nicholas believed that she and her country-born and -bred mother weren’t close. She knew little of her mother’s early life as a sharecropper during the Great Depression, but whenever she brought up the subject, her taciturn mother would snap, “You ask too many questions, young’un. ”
Nicholas left Mississippi to attend college, then settled in New York to work in the hard-driving world of commercial book publishing. Twenty-five years later, eager for a change, she and her husband decided to shift careers to writing, trading their home in the New York suburbs for a casita in the Mexican Highlands. But as her mother’s health deteriorated, Nicholas found herself spending more time in the small town she thought she had left behind. Over long afternoons in front of Turner Classic Movies, she grew closer to her mother, coaxing stories from her about her hardscrabble past—until a major stroke threatened to silence her mother's newfound voice.
Torn between her new home in Mexico and her old home in Mississippi, Nicholas struggled to find her place in the world. She discovered that the past isn’t always the way we remember it, and as the years ticked by, that she and her mother could grow closer still. The Mama Chronicles: A Memoir is a funny and poignant account of a mother-daughter relationship and, ultimately, a meditation on acceptance and what it means to call a place home.