The Place for Words Press

The Place for Words Press


The Narcissist’s Daughter: A Meshugenah Love Story

by Mindy Pollack-Fusi
Jody Horowitz grew up in an upscale community outside Boston with her narcissistic mother, her passive father, and her snooty older sister. Breaking any of Mother’s multiple rules meant enduring verbal lashings and comparisons to her “perfect” sister. Jody acquiesces in practice, if not in spirit, starting with Rule # 1: Marry a Well-Off Jewish Man. Have his baby. Which she does.
But Jody, now 33, with a one-year-old daughter, learns that her “well-off-enough Jewish man” has been screwing a shiksa, and Mother suggests that in order to fix her marriage, Jody “wear more lingerie.” Instead, Jody kicks the cheater out, recovers her life with her work, her daughter and their cocker spaniel….and, despite Rule #1, falls for a kind Italian Catholic widow. Their love affair leads her to expedite her divorce, despite the risk of losing not just the only family she has ever known, but future shares of the family’s fortune. Is this worth it, to be with a partner who has a big heart—but a thin wallet?
Making this decision leads to a dramatic personal breakdown that stretches from Boston to California to Maine, which even her best friend Ruthie can’t fix for Jody this time.
Will Jody remain mired in Mother’s manipulation or freed from a lifetime of controlling, narcissistic influences? And how will her young daughter fare from the family mishegas that threatens to consume them?  Can love and intimacy guide Jody’s exodus, or is the grip of the past too powerful to overcome?
With suspense, humor, romance, a compelling plot, and a Yiddish glossary, this novel is, ultimately, a love story about two adults, a mother and young daughter, and a struggling adult daughter and mother. The plot grips the reader from start to finish–whether or not they understand the enormous challenges that the daughter of a narcissistic mother must overcome in order to become her own person. Those who do understand, or have lived with a self-absorbed or narcissistic mother, will see themselves in Jody–and cheer her on all the way to her final decision.



In 2013, The Place for Words Press published Judith Yarbrough’s “Friends Forever in My Heart,” available on
Place for Words Press was founded in 2011 to produce “The Ice Cream Stand and Other Stories & Poems” by 21 writers from The Place for Words, funded in part by a generous grant from the Bedford Cultural Council.
In 2011, Mindy edited and published “The Ice Cream Stand and Other Stories & Poems” a 198-page collection by 21 local writers who portray everyday events written from the heart and based on personal experience and imagination. This book came about because, from 2008-2011, residents of Bedford, Massachusetts and other local towns, came together at The Place for Words with a common goal of learning to write creative prose. Mindy elicited heartfelt, humorous, and inspirational stories, essays and poems out of her students ages 25-75—then took them “public” in August, 2011 with this book. As the book unfolds, readers see the progression of writers’ skills, and individual voices emerge in this collective tapestry, including work by Mindy and poetry teacher, Dianalee Velie.
Buy the book here from Amazon. says this about “The Ice Cream Stand”:
This is a collection of funny, edgy, heart-warming and inspirational stories & poems by creative writing students from The Place for Words & Workshops. This book includes essays, short nonfiction pieces, short and long fiction and poems of all kinds. It is not only a great read, but inspirational for writers who wish to develop their art and publish one day. From love stories to real-life tales about people struggling to overcome addiction, and from light adventures at ice cream stands to dark corners of dementia, this book takes readers on a ride through real life and imaginary worlds.
Read the Bedford Minuteman article about our Book Launch Party. Click here to see a video from the book launch party.
Read an article in the Boston Globe West People Column.