You Cannot Mess This Up

by Amy W. Daughters

It’s 2014 and Amy Daughters is a forty-six-year old stay-at-home mom living in Dayton, Ohio. She returns to her hometown of Houston over the Thanksgiving holiday to discuss her parents’ estate―and finds herself hurled back in time. Suddenly, it’s 1978, and she is forced to spend thirty-six hours in her childhood home with her nuclear family, including her ten-year old self. Over the next day and a half she reconsiders every feeling she’s ever had, discusses current events with dead people, gets overserved at a party with her parent’s friends, and is treated to lunch at the Bonanza Sirloin Pit. Besides noticing that everyone is smoking cigarettes, she’s still jealous of her sister, and there is a serious lack of tampons in the house, Amy also begins to appreciate that memories are malleable, wholly dependent on who is doing the remembering. In viewing her parents as peers and her siblings as detached children, she redefines her difficult relationships with her family members and, ultimately, realizes that her life story matters and is profoundly significant―not so much to everyone else, perhaps, but certainly to her. Amy’s guide said her trip back in time wouldn’t change anything in the future, but by the time her thirty-six hours are up, she’s convinced that she’ll never be the same again.

Available June 4, 2019

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Editorial Reviews

With a fine eye for detail and dialogue and from a middle child’s perspective, Amy Weinland Daughters has written a funny, wrenching, insightful novel about what it’s like to come home . . . and the fact that you never really can come home again.

Kathy Hepinstall, author of The Book of Polly

Amy’s time-traveling visit to her ten-year-old self’s world proves simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking―but always completely captivating. As she gains a better understanding of the family dynamics that shaped her life, she prompts readers to reflect upon our own. A truly fun, inspired, and enlightening read!

Sherry Stanfa-Stanley, author of Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truths and Dares