Life's a Mother

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In Life’s a Mother, Beth Adubato tells the story of three working moms, each trying to strike a balance between earning the money to raise the kids and actually raising the kids. Melissa Flynn is a successful plastic surgeon who wonders about the wanderings of her husband; Mary Rose Flaherty manages an entire New York City building, but can't manage to get her sons to pick up their socks; Wendy Romeo is a sportscaster from New Jersey covering NASCAR in the South and trying to cover the roles of mom and dad, far away from her family or her daughter's father. Can they provide for their kids, have meaningful relationships, and be successful in their careers? And would having a little sex once-in-a-while be too much to ask? “Nobody chooses to do this alone,” Wendy tells her mother, yet that’s exactly how each woman feels at the end of the night, with their kids asleep and no one to share their worries or the good things. At some point while trying to pay the bills, drive their children to their various activities, run a household, and maybe go on an occasional date, they forgot about friendship. Dr. Melissa Flynn stands (a few) inches under five feet and has not changed her hairstyle since…ever. Despite her lack of height, Melissa was a star on both her high school and college track teams. The diminutive, but determined surgeon from western Pennsylvania married a Jersey guy she met at Penn State and built a successful plastic surgery practice with him. They have two athletic children and a gorgeous home in tony Short Hills. After eighteen years, however, it seems that the beauty of their marriage may only be skin-deep. Mary Rose Flaherty capably plans and executes multiple projects in an upscale building in midtown Manhattan on a weekly basis, but both her house and her social life are unfinished projects with no end in sight. Originally from Michigan, Mary Rose met her future husband in an international business class at University of Illinois. Their son, Matt, was born 18 months later. As with Melissa, it is now eighteen years later and her ex-husband, Tom, has left not only the marriage, but the business world, too. While he tries to find his Zen, Mary Rose finds herself living in a half-fixed-up fixer-upper, with little time to breathe, never mind time to date. Wendy Romeo is the weekend sports anchor at a network affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. When her agent promised that covering big-time college football was the ticket to a national TV sports job, he neglected to mention that no one besides the (female) news director actually wanted her there. A single mom, she has now moved her daughter to three states in five years and suffers waves of guilt each time her little girl steps into a new school. For Wendy, every day is like a stress triathlon—hurdling the obstacles of raising a child with no family around, working as a lone female in a male-dominated market, and trying to maintain a personal life. Presently, she holds a losing record. When we first meet the women, two are single moms and the third fears she may soon join them. Working in three completely different occupations in three different states no less, it’s a carpool line where their lives collide, for better or for worse. Forced together by their fifth graders, can three women with such disparate backgrounds and situations work together or will resentments, misunderstandings, and secrets get in their way? Kids…jobs…men. Sometimes life can be one or maybe you just need the friendship of…a real mother.


Beth Adubato is a former television anchor and reporter, covering both news and sports. She decided to get a master’s degree from Rutgers University and ended up with two of those and a Ph.D., so she is a doctor, but cannot write prescriptions. She has published various book reviews, academic articles, and her dissertation “Fanning the Flames: Professional, Televised Football and Domestic Violence” has been made into a book. She is also the author of Grammar for Grownups. Life’s a Mother is her first novel and is more enjoyable to read than her dissertation. She teaches criminal justice at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City and is sometimes a working actor, although not as often as she would like. This is why she has included her headshot on the back cover of this book. She has an awesome daughter named Allegra, who lives in California now and that is just too far. Beth lives in New Jersey.