Dear Mom and Dad: A Letter About Family, Memory, and the America We Once Knew (Hardcover)

Dear Mom and Dad: A Letter About Family, Memory, and the America We Once Knew By Patti Davis Cover Image

Dear Mom and Dad: A Letter About Family, Memory, and the America We Once Knew (Hardcover)


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A remarkably poignant writer for our troubled times, Patti Davis writes about love, loss, and the power of redemption in this poetic letter to her long-gone parents.

Written with dignity and grace in the form of a letter to her parents, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Dear Mom and Dad is that surprisingly poignant work that succeeds not only as a memoir but as a moving account that will inspire readers to recall their own childhoods in a totally new light.

Eager to retell the narrative of her own family and her coming-of-age, Patti Davis casts aside misperceptions that defined her in the past. Far from being the enfant terrible, Dear Mom and Dad reveals young Patti as a sensitive child, who was not able to be the public person her family demanded. Just as she re-examines her own role in an increasingly dysfunctional family drama, Davis casts an empathetic yet honest eye on her parents—on her father, the eternal lifeguard, who saved seventy-seven people, yet failed to create a coherent AIDS policy, and her mother, who never escaped her own tortured youth.

What comes across are Davis’s burnished skills as a writer, something she always dreamed of becoming. Even as she unravels her mother’s highly edited persona, and her father’s loving but distant personality, Davis remains steadfast in her artistic expression, as she melds irony, comedy, and tragedy with dreamlike memories of an ever-present past. Dear Mom and Dad, with its account of her father’s Alzheimer's and her mother’s end-of-life struggles, becomes an account of forgiveness, reaching levels of redemption rarely found in contemporary memoirs.
Patti Davis is the daughter of Nancy and Ronald Reagan and the author of many books, both fiction and nonfiction, including Floating in the Deep End and The Long Goodbye. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324093480
ISBN-10: 132409348X
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 192
Language: English
“Patti Davis grew up in the public eye, but that doesn't mean we know what it was like for her. In this sharp, touching new book, the writer (and T&C contributor) investigates not only her own experience, but also tries to understand her famous parents and what made them into the people they were. It's a book about well-known people, but it's a story that any of us can relate to—and one that all of us should read.
— Town & Country - Town & Country

[A] thoughtful memoir. This deeply personal account plays out over momentous twentieth-century events and offers insights into what it meant to be the child of Hollywood and Washington icons.

— Kathleen McBroom, Booklist, starred review - Booklist starred review

Marked by unwaveringly strong prose and genuine candor, this delivers. 

— Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly

The daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan offers an intimate glimpse into the life she shared with her two iconic parents . . . Humane, elegiac, and wise, this book moves smoothly through its portrait of a complicated family and of the daughter who learned the lessons of patient acceptance that family had to offer. A fully candid and profoundly moving memoir.
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Patti Davis is a beautiful writer—both poetic and insightful. The way she wrestles with memory and the chains of the past that need to be broken, as well as the threads to her legacy that she wants to wind tighter, resonated with me deeply.
— Rosanne Cash, musician and author of Composed

In a few pages Patti Davis tells us more about Ronald Reagan than all of the long biographies that have been written about him.
— Michael Korda, author of Charmed Lives

This book is harrowing and historic, a ‘wow’ of intimacy, with many confessions of regrets. . . . Beautifully written.
— Lesley Stahl, CBS News Correspondent for 60 Minutes

With the evocative and provocative title Dear Mom and Dad, Patti Davis reflects with deep candor her remembrances, regrets, and search for family connection. When “Dad” and “Mom” are Ronald and Nancy Reagan, the connection was not only elusive, but one that had to be shared with the world. This book is an invocation for all of us to cultivate a deeper understanding of family and connection.

— Marg Helgenberger, actor