You Cannot Mess This Up: A True Story That Never Happened (Paperback)
It's 2014 and Amy Daughters is a forty-six-year old stay-at-home mom living in Dayton, Ohio. She returns to her hometown of Houston over the Thanksgiving holiday to discuss her parents' estate--and finds herself hurled back in time. Suddenly, it's 1978, and she is forced to spend thirty-six hours in her childhood home with her nuclear family, including her ten-year old self. Over the next day and a half she reconsiders every feeling she's ever had, discusses current events with dead people, gets overserved at a party with her parents' friends, and is treated to lunch at the Bonanza Sirloin Pit. Besides noticing that everyone is smoking cigarettes, she's still jealous of her sister, and there is a serious lack of tampons in the house, Amy also begins to appreciate that memories are malleable, wholly dependent on who is doing the remembering. In viewing her parents as peers and her siblings as detached children, she redefines her difficult relationships with her family members and, ultimately, realizes that her life story matters and is profoundly significant--not so much to everyone else, perhaps, but certainly to her. Amy's guide said her trip back in time wouldn't change anything in the future, but by the time her thirty-six hours are up, she's convinced that she'll never be the same again.