Journalist Nancy Rommelmann left her Hollywood beat some time ago. In this, her debut novel, she delivers a heartfelt, unforgettable love letter to the street kids who society would just as soon forget.
–Mark Ebner, author of Hollywood, Interrupted
Utterly harrowing and sweet, alien and recognizable all at the same time. I didn’t know which child to empathize with more. This is obviously the work of not only a good writer, but also a very good
–Erika Schickel, author of You’re Not the Boss of Me
I’ve long admired Nancy Rommelmann’s non-fiction because, with brutal compassion and emotional wallop, she unfailingly reveals that no life is really ordinary. Now, she brings the same promise and punch to her first novel, The Bad Mother. You may find it hard to look at these beautifully desperate characters, but it’s much harder to look away.
Rommelmann casts an excellent, gritty mood.
In The Bad Mother, she spares the reader none of the grotesque details; the effect is strangely akin to accounts of Christian martyrs and their tormentors.
A first novel by the award-winning journalist Nancy Rommelmann, The Bad Mother is set among Hollywood’s transient population of street kids. The idea for this book grew out of Rommelmann’s experiences chronicling the under-told stories of Hollywood’s various underground populations for the LA Weekly and the LA Times: a crew of Mexican gardeners working the Hollywood Hills; the “cop groupies” who hang out at the LAPD’s favorite bar, and the dream-broke residents of Sunset Boulevard’s transient hotels. Hollywood is hard on everyone, from aspiring actors and actresses to those on the way back down, but it is particularly indifferent to the children who ghost along the boulevard, unseen by the tourists squatting over Marilyn Monroe’s hand prints in front of Grauman’s Chinese. As Rommelmann explains, “Hollywood herself is the bad mother of the title.”
Watch the book trailer:
Reason Magazine Hit-And-Run (video interview)
LA Weekly (print interview)
Willamette Week (print review)
The Sunday Oregonian (print review)
LA Observed Blog Review
Dr. Helen (Helen Smith) (blog review)
Portland Mercury (print review)