Contemporary / Women

Should This Woman Kill Her Mother-in-Law?

April 22, 2013
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Indie author Laurie Boris

When pneumonia lands Estelle Trager unconscious in the emergency room, her son Adam, and Liza, the thirty-three-year-old daughter-in-law she once called a godless hippie raised by wolves, learn of some significant tumors. It was a secret Estelle had intended to take to her grave.

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Adam is outraged. But Estelle, who watched her own mother and grandmother suffer from breast cancer in the days when no one dared speak its name, has no intention of putting her family or herself through that.

So she asks her daughter-in-law to kill her.

In the new novel “Don’t Tell Anyone” by Laurie Boris, a horrified Liza refuses and keeps the request – among other things – a secret from her furious husband, although she does share it with his brother, a close friend before her marriage to Adam.

Armed with nutrition textbooks and the help of her neighbor, a savvy nurse, Liza hopes to convince her mother-in-law to make a more informed choice, before the cancer, the secrets, and Estelle’s determination to avoid treatment and end her life can tear them all apart.

More below the media player.

Listen to Laurie Boris

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The Indie Author Life

There’s one thing that may be worse than writer’s block: knowing that the book you’re writing is turning into a piece of .. well, excrement.

Such was the case, Laurie Boris admits, with her new novel:

The novel I’m working on has met an unfortunate end.

It coded a few days ago. I attempted to revive it through extraordinary measures, gave it CPR, a few jolts with a defibrillator, every lifesaving modality known to modern literary science. Time of death: 6:21 p.m.

This was not an unexpected loss. We’ve been to this point before, just on the brink of disaster. While the dialogue tried to fake its usual perky insouciance, the prose had not been looking well for a good few months. Privately it complained of fatigue, an unredeemable protagonist, and a plotline too predictable to survive. So I took it to a specialist. My suspicions were confirmed. “It’s a foregone conclusion,” one intoned, shaking her head. Another suggested organ donation, seeing particular merit in a first chapter that could breathe life into a decent short story.

What, exactly, killed Laurie’s novel? Read her blog post “He’s Dead, Jim” here to find out.

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3 Responses to Should This Woman Kill Her Mother-in-Law?

  1. April 22, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for the great conversation, Bill!

  2. April 22, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I hadn’t considered reading this book until I heard this podcast. Now I’m definitely putting on my list and soon.

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