The Worst Day of My Life, So Far

"Hooks the reader right from the beginning...Readers will find themselves laughing out loud, and moved to tears." --Susan Larson, New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE

"A modern-day domestic nightmare...a story of real grace and power." --KIRKUS REVIEWS

Things are not going well for Jeanne (pronounced "zhonn," in the French style). A fortysomething divorced mom, she's put on weight, is watching her red hair turn gray, and to make matters worse, she feels compelled to fulfill the promise she made to her father on his deathbed -- the one about going home to backwater Louisiana to care for her ailing mother. Jeanne watches as her mother, Velma, wrestles with Alzheimer's disease, becoming less herself with each passing day. The task of caring for her is both physically and mentally exhausting, and Jeanne feels isolated: resenting her only brother for not understanding the full extent of Velma's illness, blaming herself for accepting such a heavy load, and hating her mother for putting her through it all. As Jeanne relives her childhood, we come to understand that her insecurities are rooted in her own endless comparisons between her mother's "perfect" appearance and Jeanne's "homely" one. We learn of Jeanne's marriage to Larry, the birth of their son, and of their eventual divorce. Jeanne finds herself drinking to numb the pain of her mother's death before she's truly gone. But wait a minute -- M. A. Harper has not written a depressing, self-flagellating first novel but a deeply human, hysterically funny one! Harper's story of how one woman comes to terms with her mother's impending death and her own mortality makes for an extraordinarily engrossing and moving read.
–Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers
Spring 2001 selection


"Is it really possible to recognize your soulmate at age sixteen? ...We've loved the Savoies... through pyrotechnics, passion, downright rapture, misfires, mishaps, and tragedy... but never before have we seen them in their guileless innocence... Welcome to adulthood, kids. It can burn with white heat, and it's always fatal." --Goodreads
" exciting journey from New Orleans to the banks of Bayou Lafourche... a suspenseful story of a family struggling to save one another... you may just call it magical."--Celeste Berteau, The New Orleans Advocate
"Stylishly written... A whopper of a ghost story... savvy and chilling."
"The magic here isn't really UFOs but rather the kind that allows the right people to find each other. Harper capably creates fully rounded portraits of her believable, scarred, sometimes-insecure, entirely lovable characters."
-Kirkus Reviews
"Tackles a difficult subject with wit and candor...Funny, sharp and tough-minded."
-Publishers Weekly
"A brilliant juxtaposition of two worlds…Provocative, endearing, and often funny."
-St. Louis Dispatch

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