We’re glad her mom died

From child star to No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, Jennette McCurdy deserves all the hype she is getting



Xander Howarth , Staff Reporter

Bound in a lemon yellow and a hot pink cover is Jeanette McCurdy’s harrowing memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” As someone almost all high school students have grown up with, McCurdy has become a near-forgotten memory of Nickelodeon and Disney Channel shows blaring on our televisions. One of those shows, “iCarly,” may take up the largest space in our generation’s collective memory. We remember Sam Puckett, a witty and food-obsessed delinquent, but none of McCurdy. 

However, by the end of “I’m Glad my Mom Died,” You will remember McCurdy. With a title both shocking and enthralling for readers, the memoir details her experiences from childhood traumas, like the child acting career forced upon her to the control her mother kept over, to her more recent experiences.

 Reading this memoir was a painful experience I continued to endure only because of McCurdy’s writing. While most actors-turned-writers have lackluster prose and sloppily constructed plots, McCurdy writes like she has this story engraved in her soul. Every thought, piece of dialogue and description feels like a piece of McCurdy’s life she has regurgitated onto paper. It’s all so real and unflinching, to the point where tears were spotted in my eyes on more than one occasion.

The most powerful part of the story is McCurdy’s detailed explanation of her childhood. The number of times that I flinched or winced at the detailed things her mother said, did, or even things McCurdy thought, was painful. From Sundays spent trying to get to church as fast as possible to not being at her house, to her mother showering with her until she was sixteen, McCurdy’s memories are jarring. Additionally, the memoir includes stories of McCurdy’s 

experience with anorexia, binge eating and bulimia, which were left unchecked and supported. 

Once her mother dies, you slowly understand the title of the memoir. No, it’s not because McCurdy hates her mother and is glad she’s dead. It’s because the reader and McCurdy realize that she was made by her mother. An amalgamation of all her mother’s body insecurities, judgments and behaviors, McCurdy could never truly heal with her alive. She has tried to heal by going to therapy to discuss her traumatizing childhood and frightening eating disorders.

 In reality, McCurdy loved her mother. She was her best friend for almost twenty years before she realized that best friends don’t put each other on calorie restriction, best friends don’t force each other to live under the other’s thumb, that best friends aren’t mother and daughter. It’s then that I am glad that McCurdy has solace from the person that has plagued and manipulated her life from day one. 

While this may not be for the faint of heart, I would recommend this for anyone who grew up with “iCarly” and “Sam & Cat.” Seeing someone I’ve grown up with portrayed in such a real and organic light made me feel more emotions than I thought I would over someone I’ve never met. But, I did meet Jennette. In her memoir, readers really get to know her on what feels like a deeply personal level. Overall, “I’m Glad My Mom Died” is brutal, funny, heartbreaking, and is a ride that you can’t get off of. It’s easy to understand why it is a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller. It may be the deepest and most truthful memoir I’ve ever read, and I feel anyone who wants a truthful depiction of what it feels like to lose an abusive parent and the conflicting emotions contrived from that experience would appreciate it.  But more importantly, read it if you have spent your childhood Saturdays watching who you thought was the happiest and funniest person in the world, but want to know her as the raw and human person she is.