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“A wry, magical memoir about the transcendent power of mother-daughter love.“ Elle
“A must-read memoir” —Parent & Child magazine
"A perfect book. I want to tell every body, every mother, every daughter, to read it” —Abigail Thomas, bestselling author of A Three Dog Life

Published by Algonquin Books, 2015


Thirty years after her death, Alice’s mother appears to her, seemingly in the flesh, and continues to do so during the hardest year of parenting Alice has had to face. As it turns out, it’s entirely possible for the people we’ve lost to come back to us when we need them the most. Although letting her mother back into her life is not an easy thing, Alice navigates it with humor, intelligence, and honesty. What she learns is that she must revisit her childhood and allow herself to be a daughter once more in order to take care of her own girls. Alice needs to walk in her mother’s shoes in order to understand her and forgive her, and rediscover her love for her. In this compelling story of mothers lost and found, Alice finds her mother and rediscovers herself as a mother, finally able to accept her own imperfections.

A love story. A ghost story. Alice’s memoir is a contemporary tale that reaches back through the generations. This book will speak to anybody who has ever loved their mother, struggled with their mother, lost their mother, or dreamt of reconciling with their mother.


“A wry, magical memoir about the transcendent power of mother-daughter love… ‘It doesn’t matter whether she’s a ghost, or a memory, or my idea, or her idea, or God’s idea, or dust, or sound waves, or transfigured molecules, or an echo from the Cosmos. She’s here with me,’ writes Alice Eve Cohen in The Year My Mother Came Back.” —Elle magazine

“A finely wrought memoir . . . [Cohen] finally finds peace with the complex woman who had more of an impact on her life than she ever realized.” —Publishers Weekly

"Fiercely brave and unflinchingly honest, Alice Eve Cohen...has written an important memoir that takes the reader on an astonishing journey."—The Brooklyn Rail

“Evolving into a sort of magical realism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel… a heartwarming story, perfect for Mother’s Day, for both mothers and daughters.”—The Oklahoman

“Cohen’s must-read memoir navigates complex mother-daughter bonds.” —Parent & Child magazine

"The Year My Mother Came Back (Algonquin) is full of moments of wisdom, deep candor and humor, and it’s beautifully written... This love story of both past and present ‘isn’t a book about finding answers,’ Cohen has said, ‘it’s about asking questions.’”—Jewish Women Magazine

"A multi-generational story with Cohen’s remarkable, ahead-of-her-time mother—remembered and imagined—at the center of it all.”—Birmingham Magazine

"This thoughtful memoir shows how our past and present remain constantly intertwined, and how being a mother is a complex journey that’s often full of stunning surprises." BookPage

“A little book that packs a powerful message. This book would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. It was written with grace and great love… Expect to see this title on a lot of Best Of 2015 lists. Cohen is a masterful storyteller.”—The Winnsboro News

“A gorgeous, magical, meaningful memoir… Oh my God, I love this book. The story grabbed me right away. I sank into the couch with that book and just soaked it up... Please put it on your nightstand and share it with friends.” —Reading With Robin radio show

"Cohen turns to the memory of her trailblazing feminist mother, who also battled cancer, for strength, wisdom, and closure. I love a fiercely honest memoir; I’d be glad to put this on my shelf next to Joan Didion and Ariel Gore."—Book Riot, 4 Small Press Books to Read this Spring

“For moms, The Year My Mother Came Back is must-read title for spring break."—Working Mother magazine

“10 Amazing Books Written by Female Authors… Here are some of my favorite books written by some fantastic female authors.”—Buzzfeed

“A memoir and love story about parenthood, loss and connection. With honesty and humor, Cohen describes a particularly challenging period of her life, when her late mother seems to reappear to help her find her way.”—The Jewish Week

“The Year My Mother Came Back is a perfect book. I want to tell every body, every mother, every daughter, to read it” —Abigail Thomas, bestselling author of A Three Dog Life

“A riveting journey." Julie Metz, bestselling author of Perfection

“[A] must-read memoir” —Parent & Child magazine

"Full of moments of wisdom, deep candor and humor... beautifully written." --Jewish Woman Magazine

"In her new memoir, Alice Cohen navigates what was a perfect storm of a year... What she made of this year is a book so honest, so moving, and ultimately so wise that it is a privilege to take the journey with her. The Year My Mother Came Back is a perfect book."
—Abigail Thomas, bestselling author of What Comes Next and How to Like It: a Memoir

"Alice Eve Cohen's warm, witty, wise memoir is an elixir of love. It captures the struggles of every woman who ever wanted to be a better mother or daughter. It's a brilliant meditation on how little we know (and how much less we control) despite our finest efforts. Read it and weep . . . and laugh . . . and love. But do read it!" —Nancy Bachrach, author of The Center of the Universe: A Memoir

"I love, love, love this book. It's so rich, so real and so moving . . . An astonishingly wonderful book — I was enthralled."
—Caroline Leavitt, NY Times bestselling author of Pictures of You

"Compassionate, compelling, and told in luscious prose that practically begs you to sink in and linger, Cohen's imaginative story and its fascinating characters will stay with you long after you've turned the last page."
—Jessie Sholl, author of Dirty Secret