Whether you're a Stepmom, a Bio-Mom, a Dad, a Stepkid or just a curious sort who is wondering why stepmoms feel like they have a bone to pick with the world, I want you to consider this book your text book for understanding the Stepmom mind.
All of the other Stepmom books I've reviewed on this site have been insightful. They've offered tips and techniques for dealing with your new insta-family, his ex-wife, your new marital status, etc. They all include great tools for improving your outlook on the world Stepmotherdom.
Stepmonster, however, tells you why you probably feel angry, pissed, sad, annoyed, happy, excited, jubilant or disengaged.
You can tell Wednesday Martin (who is also a Ph.D.), has anthropology in her blood. This book doesn't just tell you that you're going to be upset so get over it. Martin has interviewed dozens of stepmoms, stepfamily coaches and therapists to dig into the reasons why you have every right to be upset.
Through research and scientific evidence, Martin has uncovered what feels like a universal stepmom truth: As a stepmom, you really are treated differently in your family. It's not just you feeling the short end of the stick. From African tribes to birds and bees, the "other mother" is often treated with less respect but more often told to get over it and be a grown up about it.
This book is blunt in a way that stepmoms (or soon-to-be stepmoms) need to hear. Martin uses her own stepfamily experiences to illustrate some of the frustrating themes. As you read about her experiences and the other stepmoms she includes, you start to get a sense that you really aren't alone in this maddening Stepmother world.
When I finished reading this book, I felt comforted; actually, more like validated. My feelings of frustration about why it always seems like I have to take the high road when everyone else gets to act like a brat were supported when I read that Martin feels equally frustrated. She spends nearly a whole chapter discussing instances like this and why, as a stepmom, you have every right to act just as "bratty" as the next kid or husband (or ex) in your brood.
Believe me ladies. You'll want to read this book. I give it a big, fat A+