Sunday Book Review – Waiting in the Wings – Stevie Turner

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Today’s book review is on friend and author Stevie Turner’s book – Waiting in the Wings, a memoir.

I’ve read a few books of Stevie’s now and I’m am quite fond of her writing style. Stevie doesn’t hold back with her thoughts and as a memoir writer myself, I couldn’t wait to sink my eyes into this book.

Waiting in the Wings by Stevie Turner


Get this Book on Amazon!  




At the grand old age of 92, my mother Dot suddenly starts telling me that she loves me. I am quite dumbstruck at these outbursts of emotion, as she has never mentioned the fact before in all of my 58 years. Over the entire course of my lifetime we have often argued bitterly, and have never really seen eye-to-eye over anything. I squirm with the inner knowledge that she wants me to reply in a similar vein, but try as I might, I cannot.

The guilt I feel at being unable to grant Dot her wish is overwhelming. As Dot’s health deteriorates more towards the final chapters of her life, I take on the role of carer. I find the only way to bring her out of her perpetual misery is to reminisce on past events by showing her old family photographs, and by helping her to remember holidays and happier times. We look back without anger and sometimes with a lot of laughter, getting to know each other better, raking over the past, and talking more than we have ever done. The process helps me, a middle-aged woman, understand the perils of ageing that I might one day face, and also the struggles that elderly people suffer on a day-to-day basis while stoically attempting to maintain their independence.

This is a true story, told in flashbacks and in modern-day often humorous conversations with my mother.


My 5 Star Review:


Turner’s memoir is an insightful story about a mother and daughter relationship that has moved to a new dimension. Throughout the author’s life she struggled with her relationship with her mother. Dot was set in her ways and always seemed to be trying to conform Stevie to what she wanted her to be. The angst Stevie felt growing up with Dot is documented through this touching and heartfelt memoir as Dot is now old and being an only child, Stevie has taken on the roll to care for her aging invalid mother.

Dot struggles to maintain her independence, making Stevie’s job somewhat more difficult to tend to Dot with her whims and antics, but it seems that the two find a common bond while exchanging stories from the past where Dot can be happy reliving her younger days, and where Turner establishes a common ground with memories they can bond over.

Many stories are shared from Turner’s childhood, about living under the eagle eye of Dot. We learn to understand that as much as Dot loved her daughter, she didn’t know how to show her love, which became a difficult burden for Turner to give her mother love in return.

As a child, Turner was tired of Dot’s OCD ways of life, and as a result, rebelled as many a child will do, with vowing not to be like her mother. Through this story, Dot’s anal ways could drive a sane person mad at times. Dot didn’t know how to show love and emotion and her methods of thinking she was doing so as a good mother were to nag at and not encourage her daughter for the attributes she possessed, but rather harped on how she thought her daughter should dress, and live her life, driving Turner batty, resulting in her wanting to keep in her own comfort zone, much as a loner.

As a memoirist myself, I know the angst of feeling sorry for an aging mother who never fulfilled me emotionally, and similar to Turner’s life, I understand the position she was in, finding it difficult to be able to tell her own mother that she loved her when the words were foreign to her all of her life. It brings a heart-crushing feeling when you can’t bring yourself to respond with those words, ‘I love you’, as I sensed the pathetic non-verbal pleading in my own mother too, wanting to hear me say those difficult words.

I highly recommend this book, not only for the manner in which it was written with entertainment value, but for anyone who has or is struggling with an aging parent, finding it difficult to forgive the past and to learn that there is always a way to make amends.


Visit Stevie Turners Amazon author page to check out more of her wonderful books.

30 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – Waiting in the Wings – Stevie Turner

    1. Thanks Diana. I know it’s obvious why I enjoyed the book, as one who has suffered mother issues all my life too. I always find it interesting reading other’s memoirs, not just for writing style, but to learn how they managed their struggles and overcame. Stevie did a wonderful job of conveying her story. If I could have given it more than 5 stars I would have.


  1. This is a balanced view of a memoir, which brings out the nuances of an emotional relationship. No relationship can be perfect and the more we give, expectations keep widening. What is heartening about this account is that Stevie cared for her mother during the last moments of her life despite all grudges she had about Dot.
    Thanks for sharing this book Debbie, I’ll check it.


  2. Good job, Stevie and Debby – and my condolences to you both for the loss of your mothers. My heart goes out to both of you for growing up without hearing “love” or feeling loved.

    My father was strict and difficult, but I always knew he loved me as best he knew how – and my mother was an angel, quite the opposite of HER mother, however.

    That is where I connect emotionally with this situation. I have no idea how I might have responded if I had been the only one to care for my grandmother after a lifetime of practically no kind treatment from her, knowing as well how abusive she was to my mother. You are both stronger than I in that regard, I am fairly certain.

    Both books are on my TBR list in the hopes that I will finally understand why my mother cared for her mother during those final years – and how she was able to do so.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”


    1. Thank you for sharing some of your own personal background Madelyn. In regards to your mom being an angel and her mother not, contrary to a popular saying, ‘sometimes the apples do fall far from the trees’, or in my case, keep rolling away. I say in a few of my books, we sometimes make deliberate choices, and sometimes unknowingly just become the opposite to personalities we grow up with. We can follow the path we know, or like me, realize the toxicity and do my best to become everything my mother was not. Perhaps your mom chose that same path. And don’t under-estimate your power. You are a survivor!
      P.S. If you’re looking for some understanding on how I finally ‘closed the book’ on my mother, you must read P.S. I Forgive You, my last book. Although it’s a sequel to Conflicted Hearts, it’s a standalone. 🙂 ❤


      1. I plan to Deb – but it won’t be soon. A couple of unexpected projects *suddenly* became essential – so I’m looking at what I can possibly drop, not what I can add right now.

        Yes, my mother made the choice to stop abuse in a single generation. Only after her death did I learn from her younger brother (third hand, since he was already slipping into dementia), how bad it actually was.

        Looking forward to time to read, and for some closure.


      2. No pressure Madelyn. I was really trying to give you the gist of the 2 books. They aren’t going anywhere. 🙂 Did you forget I know well about the essential ‘to do’ list of life? 🙂 x


      3. The pressure is all self-inflicted, Debby, but thanks or reminding me of that sad fact.

        I just can’t make friends with the fact that I’m not Super Girl, and I get defensive and feel like I have to offer explanations. (workin’ on it!)


  3. I can’t help but think that it is so hard to write a memoir based on a mother-daughter relationship. The details, the feelings, the recollections and then the hard truth that your mom is aging and dying. Well done, Stevie and thank you for the review, Debby. While I now have a great relationship with my mom (I can see past her less desirable personality traits), I also grew up in a family that was – and is – emotionally detached. We don’t hug or say “I love you” in my Belgian family.


  4. Look for the reblog of this review on Always Write tomorrow. Thanks for contributing, Debby! BTW, I don’t see the press button on your blog. Thanks again. You are soooooo awesome! 🙂


    1. OH great Marsha! I’ll let Stevie know too. As far as ‘press’ button goes, it’s you who has to download the ‘press’ tool in your dashboard so you gain the ability to press any article from anywhere – blogs, or the web, to your draft. 🙂


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