praise for the book

“A debut memoir offers a poignant meditation on the joys and challenges of being a stepmother… This is a genuine love story that thoughtfully considers all the ways real-world obstacles conspire against a simple romance. A beautiful examination of a family and the sometimes-fragile ligatures that bind its members.”


“…This is a story of great courage, of love and resentment, of hopes dashed and hopes fulfilled. This is a story of love. This is a story of family…(and) this is a straight-shooting, no holds barred description of life as a stepmom and I defy anyone not to get drawn in and hooked, not to experience a whole range of emotions. And I defy anyone who isn’t from a blended family not to sit up and take note, to start realizing that a stepmom is still a mom, still a big part of a family and, above all, she is a human being who deserves respect.”


“In this poignant memoir, author Marianne Lile details her journey of taking on the universally prejudiced role.  Form facing daily battles against resentment to desperately trying to build a strong foundation for her new family, Lile never gives up and ferociously redefines the art of parenting in the process.”

She Knows, “The best books written by women you need to read this fall”

“As it wends from battling resentment to persevering to redefining the foundations of family, this memoir is an emotionally raw celebration of motherhood and all its forms.”

Working Mother, “21 New Books to Fall for This Autumn”

“Lile’s harrowing journey through the most misunderstood role in parenthood will leave every reader with a deeply renewed vision on motherhood.”

POPSUGAR, “15 Books to Pair With Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies”

“In her memoir, Stepmother: A Memoir, Marianne Lile takes you with her as she navigates the many complex challenges of blending a family. Honest and unflinching, she captures the intense emotions and feelings of loneliness as well as hopefulness often shared by stepmothers. This beautifully written memoir is injected with an enormous amount of fierce love and provides insight and inspiration to anyone in or contemplating a step relationship.”

Samantha Waltz, editor, Blended: Writers on the Stepfamily Experience

“Lile’s memoir does a wonderful job capturing the complicated role of a stepmother. She articulates the widely swinging pendulum of emotion, and realistically portrays the self-doubt women feel when taking on a ‘ready-made’ family. Never descending into cynicism and negativity, Lile nevertheless manages to validate even the most difficult facets of being a stepmom.”

     Brenda Snyder, LCSW, licensed therapist, speaker, contributing writer for Stepmom Magazine and 18-year veteran stepmom

“Marianne Lile’s Stepmother is a book about love and family and the love of family.  A valuable memoir for mothers of all kinds, Lile’s story is told with tenderness, humor and honesty.  ‘Stepping in’ is not always easy, or pleasant, but Lile’s story told with grace and compassion offers inspiration and hope.”

      Corbin Lewars, M.Ed., author of Creating a Life and Losing Him, Gaining You:  Divorce as Opportunity