Mary Matalin, Author . Simon & Schuster $23 (248p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5608-7

"Don't ever feel like you have to choose between Daddy and me or, more importantly take up any political opinion out of peer pressure or because it's trendy. Think for yourself ," writes outspoken Republican political strategist and media personality Matalin in one of a series of letters containing life lessons for her two young daughters. Daddy is the equally outspoken Democratic political strategist James Carville, whom Matalin married in 1993. Their daughters are now preteens, but Matalin's advice covers all stages in a woman's life. Each letter is centered on a theme, some more serious than others: marriage and childbirth; career and civic duty; mall shopping and bad hair days, among others. "The time and money you'll spend on your hair will exceed the GNP of Liechtenstein," she predicts. Carville's opinions are here, too—the letter about loyalty has his explanation on why he stuck with Bill Clinton in the wake of the Lewinsky affair. "[T]ell my girls that their daddy had a friend. And, his friend did a bad thing. And what you do when you have a friend is you forgive them. And that's what I did." Most of the advice is loving, humorous and generally open-ended. But Matalin draws the line at casual sex. She warns, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" echoing the advice her own mother gave her. This is not a parenting manual, nor does it contain any earth-shattering political or family revelations. But Matalin's engaging, sensible tone will appeal to many moms and daughters. (Apr. 14)

Forecast: Matalin will promote the book on Good Morning America and will do national publicity from New York and Washington, D.C. S&S will make a Mother's Day push in May.

Reviewed on: 03/15/2004
Release date: 03/01/2004
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-3608-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-7435-3609-7
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4165-9136-8
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-0-7432-5609-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-4319-4
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