the AGONY and the AGONY by Betty Londergan

This book appeals to me…well, because I need all the help I can get with surviving my daughters’ teen-age years. AGONY is a perfect word some days and I bet if you asked them (I’ve got two) they’d say that same word is spot-on for dealing with “Mom.”

the AGONY and the AGONY is a practical guide offering sympathy, advice, and a few laughs to get parents through the seemingly impossible adolescent-rearing years. Betty Londergan provides sound strategies to common conflicts between parents and teens: a) How to talk to teenagers about issues, especially what NOT to say; b) Teen privacy—when it’s okay to snoop; and c) The different strategies for parenting “emotional” girls and “rebellious and withdrawn” boys.


 To win a copy of the AGONY and the AGONY:

  1. One Ballot: Subscribe to my e-newsletter (this is how I announce winners) ~ I promise I won’t bombard you with correspondence, trust me 😉
  2. Two Ballots:  Leave a Comment below sharing your biggest teenager challenge or maybe how challenging you were as a teenager (Beg for forgiveness from your parents 😉
  3. Three Ballots:  Call 206–309–7318 and share in your own voice
  4. FOUR Ballots: Leave a review for Words To Mouth on iTunes

Interview with Betty Londergan

Carrie:  What inspired you to write the AGONY and the AGONY?
  My adorable, agonizing teenagers.

Carrie:Tell us about the AGONY and the AGONY.
   My focus is on what a parent goes through in a child’s adolescence – namely a process of bewilderment and loss. So I’ve borrowed the famous five stages of grief to describe the parents’ journey: through Denial (12-13), Anger (14-15), Depression (12-18), Bargaining (16 -17) and Acceptance (18 up, I hope).

Carrie:  What is the primary message you’d like your readers to take away from the AGONY and the AGONY?
   That you will live through this, that it’s normal to feel enraged/insane for a good part of your kid’s adolescence, that your kid probably will grow up to be just fine, and will eventually even like you again.

Carrie:  What is your favorite part of the book? Why?
   The part where I achieve Acceptance, for obvious reasons.

Carrie:  What are you reading right now?
   The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III, Fine Just Like It Is by Annie Proulx, The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman, About a Boy by Nick Hornby

Carrie:  Who are your favorite authors and who influenced your writing?
   William Styron, e.e. cummings, Robert Frost, Alice Munro….but I can’t say they influenced my writing. That would be too cruel to them.

Carrie:  Can you offer a glimpse into your “real life” and share with us a bit of your personal life—Outside of writing, what’s important to you (i.e., hobbies, passions, causes, family)?
  I am obsessed with politics right now (go Obama!!!), I take dance classes and play tennis and love to garden, I do freelance advertising and I am trying very hard to butt out of my teenagers’ lives while still staying connected, which is a very big challenge.

Carrie:  Tell us something surprising about you and/or something very few people know about you.
   I am the First Lady of Oglethorpe University, I have seven brothers and sisters, and I adore candy corn.

Carrie:  Will you share one of your biggest struggles and/or successes (professional/personal) and what you’ve learned?
   I wrote a book …actually, two…which I never ever thought I would do. What I learned from doing so is that getting published is simultaneously one of the most personally rewarding and financially embarrassing experiences imaginable.

Carrie:  Who is your biggest fan?
   My husband….and my four sisters.

Carrie: What was the best advice you’ve ever received—do you follow it?
   Don’t sweat the small stuff….unfortunately, I don’t follow it in any way.

Carrie:  What is your favorite literary turn-of-phrase / quote / word picture?
   Comedy is tragedy with time.

Carrie:  What did you learn about yourself while writing this book that you may not have expected?
   That I have actually have something to say – although whether anybody wants to hear what I have to say is open to debate.

Carrie:  What’s next for you ~ Anything else you’d like to offer?
  Maybe I’ll write a novel, if i can screw up the courage. Or maybe I’ll join the Peace Corps and move to Africa after my daughter goes to college next year.


Click HERE for a preview of the AGONY and the AGONY


  • Beach or Mountains? Yes

  • Stilettos or Sensible Shoes? Yes

  • With you on a Desert Island? My husband

  • “Black or White” OR Gray? Depends on the subject

  • Compact, Convertible or Luxury Car? Scooter

  • Betty also wrote, I’m too Sexy for my Volvo, a comedic memoir / mom’s guide to staying fabulous
  • For more information about raising teens, come LISTEN to TheDivaCast

There Are 9 Responses So Far. »

  1. My almost 16 year old has her first “dating” boyfriend. I think I am going to get ulcers! And I already see the gray hair! I just want to crawl in bed and cry and be in denial for awhile!! But this to shall pass! I now know the agony that I put my mom thru. Sorry mom!

  2. I heard my 13 yo’s voice crack for the first time this week! I couldn’t help thinking about his little toddler voice and how different he already sounds. The tantrums are very similar, though!

  3. I’m a DIVA cast listener, and I’ll be listening to Words to Mouth soon! This sounds like a wonderful book … since I have a 13 year old daughter.

  4. Perhaps I could get a head start on the teenage angst. Please enter me.

  5. Biggest challenge faced with a teenager is when they turn of age to drive a car it is so stressful not knowing where they are going and having no control over when they will be home!!

  6. The most stressful thing faced for me is when teenager is old enough to drink and hoping they are making the right decisions such as not drinking and driving nad not partying all of the time a very stressful time!!

  7. I’ve lived to tell the tale!

  8. I have a tween and am gearing up for this time in our lives! I’m always open to learning more about being a good parent as my kids enter new stages in life. Would love to win the book!

  9. My four boys have been blessedly easy to raise. I was harder for my own parents. I ran away to California but came back after a week of the rough life when I was seventeen. My Dad and I grew real close after this so I guess that was a good thing and I turned out pretty darn good.

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