Click HERE to watch the book trailer
Click HERE to buy the Kindle version (Download a free app from Amazon to read on any e-reader, phone, computer, iPad)
Click HERE to buy the paperback
I was a not-so-young DJ on a decidedly youth-driven New York City radio station (Z100) when a series of crises led me to do the unthinkable: move to the Bible Belt – “Greensboring,” North Carolina – to care for my ailing, estranged, hoarder mother.
Everyone predicted Operation Mama Jo would be a disaster. My therapist suspected I had Rescuer Syndrome. My friends staged an intervention. Even Mama Jo wasn’t sure it would work.
What followed was an unforgettable roller-coaster ride with my mother and her enormous doll collection, my born-again brother, the laid-back South, and first-time home ownership – plus a few drag queens along the way. It proved to be a magical, hilarious, and, at times, heartbreaking antidote to heal a long-fractured family. Most surprising, what I feared would be some of the worst years of my life turned out to be some of the best. The same was true for Mama Jo.
By the way, there’s nothing boring about Greensboro.
To get a personally inscribed copy, please contact Jo through BeulahlandBooks (at) gmail.com.
To see more of Mama Jo and her infamous doll collection watch The Doll Dilemma on You Tube.
- What struck you as the hardest part for Jo once she’d made the decision to care for her mother?
- How did Mama Jo’s divorce from Jo’s father impact the two of them and Jo’s brother thirty years later?
- What was the biggest change in in Jo over the course of the story? How did her caring for Mama Jo change the rest of the family?
- What observations did Jo make about southern culture after relocating from New York City? If from the South, do you agree with her? If you’re not from the South, did Jo’s book change any opinions you had about southerners? How would you describe New Yorkers?
- What parts of the story made you laugh, and why? What parts made you tear up?
- Did the story change your feelings about taking on a similar responsibility if one should arise? Did it cause you to think about making any changes in your life?
- What did you think about Jo’s changing attitude toward religion in the book? Did any passages from the Bible come to mind as you were reading?
- Mama Jo was described as a “world-class hoarder.” Do you know someone with this issue? What do you think causes it? What might you do to help someone with this disorder?
- Why do you think Mama Jo collected dolls? What role did dolls play through the generations of Jo’s family? Has anyone in your family been a collector of something and passed the tradition down?
- Jo said, “If you’re not right with your mama, you’re probably not going to be right with your mama, you’re probably not going to be right with anyone.” What did she mean? Do you agree or disagree?