Lifelike Creatures (Paperback)
Thirteen-year-old Tara does whatever it takes to keep her beautiful, audacious, and addicted mother, Joan, from falling through the cracks. When a sinkhole forces her rural Louisiana town to evacuate, Tara finds herself homeless and her mother’s impulsive personality unleashed. But Joan’s raw charisma and plain speak quickly establish her as the public face of the catastrophe. The community rallies around her, and social media demands justice. A class action lawyer grooms Joan to play the starring role in a carefully crafted PR campaign. Tara dares to imagine a better life, built upon the proceeds of the settlement the whole town will share, a life that might even include college. But as the spotlight intensifies, and the promise of a settlement looms, Joan’s demons return with a vengeance. Tara must decide whether to pull her mother from the brink as she’s always done, or let her fall, severing ties with the only family she’s ever known.
About the Author
In addition to developing new works of fiction, Rebecca Baum writes for a creative studio she cofounded. She lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and their cat.
"Baum’s impressive debut is plainly told in vivid descriptions and unapologetic language. She handles the struggle between love and blame in parent-child relationships honestly and beautifully in the face of addiction and environmental corruption." —Emily Park, Booklist
“Rebecca Baum’s writing is honest and concise. She can conjure our humanity in a sentence, deftly revealing a humble decency or an utter depravity. Lifelike Creatures unapologetically displays our ability to abuse and our capacity to love. The perspectives of a daughter who is so easy to love and a mother who is so hard to forgive, are raw and wrenching. I could feel the fear and shame and rage of vibrant and resilient Tara Saint-Romain. I think every daughter will recognize the precipice of that age, and the tug of war of wanting both the protection of our mother and the freedom from her. I look forward to clearing more space for Rebecca Baum on my book shelf.” —Téa Leoni