What I am Reading – I Couldn’t Love You More

To be sure a stepmother to a girl is a different thing to a second wife to a man! Elizabeth Gaskell

What would you do if your daughter and her half-sister, your stepdaughter, were in danger and you could only save one of them?  This is the question that Eliot Gorden must answer in I Couldn’t Love You More.

This is a timely story recommended by Jodi Picoult about what it means to be a stepmother, a role in which many women find themselves today. Eliot, unlike the stereotype made infamous in fairy tales, is a great mother to the three Delaney sisters, Charlotte, Gail, and Hailey. Her instincts are those of a mother and she treats them all as if they are her own. What remains true is that she is not the two older girls’ mother. Beth, the ex-wife of Eliot’s partner, is.

Any women who has ever been a stepmother, no matter how well-loved, has been told, “You’re not my mother.” This is brought home to Eliot in a devastating way as she attempts to deal with the sudden reappearance of her first love, Fin Montgomery and what this means to her life.

The relationship Eliot has with her mother, Dolores, and with her two sisters, Sylvia and Maggie, forms the background of this book. Jillian Medoff makes these relationships, messy, volatile and very real. The three adult Gordon sisters provide the perfect balance for the three young Delaney girls and serve to remind us of the almost unbreakable bond that exists between sisters regardless of how different they are or how well they get along.

I admire Medoff’s courage as she plotted this story through several unexpected twists and turns not all of them happy ones. In the “Interview with the Author” at the end of the book, she tells the reader that she has one daughter and two stepdaughters. It was clear to me early in the story a stepmother wrote this book.

This is a book that will make you question what you think you know about being a stepmother. I think you will come to agree with me that it’s not for the faint of heart.

I Couldn't Love You More

A Great Beach Read