Having children transforms us -- by the amazing power of our love for them and theirs for us, by the anger they are able to evoke in us, and because in order to be good parents to our children, we must admit we are no longer children ourselves. In As Good as I Could Be, bestselling author Susan Cheever describes that transformation in passionate, compelling, moving prose. Susan is raising a daughter, 18, and a son, 11; they have all survived divorce, blending families, issues at school, eating disorders, and alcoholism. They have negotiated the rocky shoals of adolescence and the teenage years with their love and respect for each other intact. Cheever describes her children as smart, kind, and connected; As Good as I Could Be is the story of how that happened. Cheever reveals the challenges, the joys, and the heartbreaks of being a parent. Using the domestic details of her family's life, she illuminates larger truths, starting with the most basic: in order to raise happy, stable, successful children, parents can't be afraid to use their authority -- financial, emotional, and experiential; a family is not -- and should not be -- a democracy; teaching your children to celebrate their mistakes may help them to forgive you yours; and no matter how damaged or unhappy an adult's childhood was, it should not affect the way they parent their children. Provocative, perceptive, wise, and unflinchingly honest, As Good as I Could Be is a touchstone for all parents who are doing the best they can.
Susan Cheever is the bestselling author of thirteen previous books, including five novels and the memoirs Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark. Her work has been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Boston Globe Winship Medal. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a member of the Corporation of Yaddo, and a member of the Author's Guild Council. She teaches in the Bennington College M.F.A. program. She lives in New York City with her family.