IPT Book Reviews

Title: The Good Mother  Positive Review
Author: Sue Miller
Publisher: Dell Publishing 1986

Dell Publishing
666 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10103


This is a fictional account of a divorced women's adjustment and a custody hearing that resulted in the loss of her four-year-old daughter.  The mother falls in love with a artist who allows the child to touch his penis after a shower.  The child also climbs into the bed while the mother and the lover are having sexual intercourse.  The father (now remarried) of the child files for custody and wins it on the sexual allegations.  The book is well written and has good insight into the post-divorce adjustments of a single women with a young child.


This is a horrible story of the state of custody in this country.  No court has been able to successfully deal with the problem and best-interests-of-child criteria are seldom sufficiently helpful to guide our courts.  The book details the hiring of lawyers and physicians and their expense and Solomon-like burdens.  It also describes the battle of the experts with play-by-play reporting.

The book remains a sad commentary on the custody problems that face all courts as single parenthood increases in our country.  It also illustrates the fact that our society has so broadly defined sexual abuse that normal family sexual expression may result in allegations of sexual abuse.  The book has been made into a movie (VHS Tape).

Reviewed by LeRoy Schultz, Professor, School of Social Work, West Virginia University.

Order this book: Paperback

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