Nov 20 2017 9:30am

Insight into MaryJanice Davidson’s Deja New

Deja New by MaryJanice Davidson

MaryJanice Davidson asks that age-old question in her latest novel, Deja New if you give birth to your mother, does that make you your own grandmother?

Leah Nazir is one of the world’s top Insighters. She helps diagnose why your life is such a mess because she can see what you screwed up in every one of your past lives. She knows who you were and why that makes you act the way you do now. And it is not just everyone else’s past lives she can see, she is fully aware of all of her own past lives and each of those lives has included the one person she can never, ever get along with—her own mother.

Time and again Leah and her mother have been at odds. Lifetime after lifetime things have not gone well between them. It is not just simply that they never get along, in some lives her mother has been responsible for Leah’s death.

Her mother has spent each of her lifetimes filled with the unquenchable need to be the center of attention. This time around, her mother was a B-movie star and forced Leah into the Hollywood spotlight as a baby, and while Leah reluctantly found great success as a child star, that only increased her mother’s jealousy and resentment of Leah in this life. Leah emancipated herself as soon as she was able and ran from the shallow world of entertainment, but her mother continually tried to force Leah back for more mother/daughter TV and movie reunions so she could share in Leah’s success.

“But then you got famous. Famous-er. You were always in the news, but not because of TV anymore. Archer was super excited when he got to meet you, he told us all about it.”

“Yes, I was famous. On quite my own merits.” Leah smiled, but it wasn’t a happy one. “The unforgiveable sin in Nellie Nazir’s eyes is that I wasn’t even on TV anymore and I was still more famous than her. Her only focus from the time I was seventeen until I—until last year—was luring me back to revive her career with ‘our comeback.’” Leah still couldn’t say “our comeback” without a shudder.

Now it may sound harsh, but Leah finally thought after her mother’s murder that she might find a measure of peace for herself for the remainder of this life. She finally found love with a man who was an anomaly, Archer did not have any past lives, and they were expecting a child of their own.

Since Leah has gotten pregnant, the joy and nervousness of becoming a mother for the first time ever in all her resurrections is overshadowed by the fact that she keeps dreaming of the baby’s past lives. Lifetimes which she knows all too well. Leah knows she is having a little girl, and that little girl who is growing inside of her used to be her own mother. In a few short months, Leah will be giving birth to her personal nemesis. What should have been a blessing has turned into an absolute nightmare. Leah doesn’t know what to do or how to feel about the fact that she is carrying the soul of her reincarnated mother.

Unfortunately, Leah has had the same maternal role model over and over again, and so far that only gives her an idea of what she doesn’t want to do as a mother herself. Yet this time around the tables will be turned. As an Insighter, Leah knows that we are destined to repeat mistakes we make over each lifetime. But is it possible to stop that endless cycle?

Leah shook her head. “Uncharted territory. But does it mean my daughter is doomed to be the stage mother from Hell? That I’ll hate and fear her? That she’ll be psychotically vain? And will value her career—whatever it will be—over everything else in her life? Will I be the bad mother to a bad mother? How much can we change each time?

“I don’t know.” Her brain was still trying to digest the idea of giving birth to a parent. Because pregnancy wasn’t gross enough? “What does it mean?” Because if the entire purpose of reincarnation was to fix past mistakes, what does it mean when your imperfect parent comes from you?

Can Leah raise her own mother and break her obsessive need for attention that has plagued her from one life to the next? Or is this whole thing just too messed up?


Learn more about or order a copy of Deja New by MaryJanice Davidson, available now:

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Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

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