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The Night Garden

W

 hen her 86-year-old mother falls and breaks her hip, Sandra Tyler is 42, with a nursing infant and precocious toddler. In The Night Garden: Of My Mother, Tyler, the acclaimed author of Blue Glassa New York Times Notable Book of The Year, mines what it means to be divided between the role of mother and daughter, with empathy and affectionate comedy.   
   As her mother’s dementia worsens, Chandice warns the author about other daughters “gone crazy” watching their mothers become unrecognizable—after her mother’s death, the author is admitted to a psychiatric ward, where she sleeps the “sleep of the dying,” as her mother slept in her final weeks.
   But in the timelessness of this ward, she can wonder: was her closeness with her mother not of best friends, but something inherent in their dispositions as a writer and artist—in that compulsion to be seen and heard?
   The Night Garden candidly explores what it means for a daughter to have her focus fractured by conflicting responsibilities while still seeking, above all else, her mother’s approval, protection and love.
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