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December 9, 2022

The Inscription

Mary Dixie Carter is the author of THE PHOTOGRAPHER, which released in paperback this summer. This psychological thriller is a slyly observed, suspenseful story of envy and obsession, told in the mesmerizing, irresistible voice of a character who will make you doubt that seeing is ever believing. In her holiday blog post, Mary Dixie reflects on the last Christmas she spent with her mother and the book she wishes her mother had inscribed.



In December 2009, when I was four months pregnant, my husband and I went to Los Angeles to visit my mother for Christmas. We all had a wonderful time together, in spite of her being sick. She gave me a copy of GOODNIGHT MOON as a present for her first grandchild. She’d given me many books in my life (from Angela Banner's Ant and Bee series to Charles Dickens and Oscar Wilde), and she always wrote something in the front. But for some reason, she didn’t write in this one.

My mother died three and a half months later, before my daughter was born. Over the years, I’ve thought about that book many times and thought about what my mother might have written. What she would have written, if she'd known she wasn't going to meet her granddaughter.

I mourn for the inscription that isn’t there. I long for some kind of connection between my mother and my children. I want to say to her: Look. Look at my children. Recognize them.

Now, when I see our copy of GOODNIGHT MOON on the bookshelf or hold it in my hands, I can imagine an inscription: Dear Baby Girl, Tell your mother I see you. Tell your mother I know you. Tell your mother I’m there.