The Sunday Magazine

The Bad Mother

When she was 30 years old, Marguerite Anderson escaped a bad marriage, and left her two boys behind. Ms. Anderson wrote about her experience - in French. Now, it's out in English. In honor of the occasion, we are re-airing Alisa Siegel's documentary about Marguerite Anderson, "Good Enough."
Marguerite Anderson ( Alisa Siegel)

Marguerite Andersen is a mother who left. Not to a house down the street. Or even across town. But to another country. It might as well have been another world.

At age 30, Marguerite Andersen kissed her two young sons, then six and eight, goodbye. She boarded a plane, and flew over the Mediterranean Sea, from Tunis, where she and her family lived at the time, to Berlin, the city where she was born and raised.

She went for medical reasons, but she stayed to escape a bad marriage. Her boys had expected her back soon. Instead, they were apart for a year and a half. A time that has tormented Marguerite Anderson ever since.

Now, on the cusp of turning 90, after a successful academic and writing career, she has published a memoir - in French.  It's called La Mauvaise Mère - The Bad Mother. Part question mark, part confession, the author takes herself to task for the choices she made and those she didn't. For the lives she lived, and the loves she allowed herself. All the while she asks: What kind of mother was I?

Our documentary "Good Enough" was produced by Alisa Siegel. It first aired on The Sunday Edition on August  22, 2014.