73 pages 2 hours read

Jennette McCurdy

I'm Glad My Mom Died

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2022

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Summary and Study Guide


I’m Glad My Mom Died, a memoir by Jennette McCurdy, details the author’s experiences as a child star on Nickelodeon and her relationship with her mother. Published in 2022, Jennette’s first book explores complex experiences with body image, love, family, religion, and the child acting industry. This guide refers to the 2022 first edition of the memoir.

Content Warning: This text deals extensively with emotional abuse, alcohol abuse, eating disorders, and mental health. It reproduces some sexual and abusive language, some of which is referenced in this study guide in direct quotation.


Jennette McCurdy lives in Garden Grove with her parents, maternal grandparents, and her three older brothers. She has an extremely close relationship with her mother, who was diagnosed with cancer years ago but is in remission. At the age of six, Jennette began her acting career at the behest of her mother, whose dream was to be an actress. Jennette is disinterested in acting but feels that her purpose in life is to make sure that her mother is happy and calm.

For several years, Jennette acts in small roles in commercials and television shows. After struggling with anxiety over auditions, she develops a voice in her head that she attributes to the Holy Spirit. This voice instructs her to perform certain rituals that calm Jennette down. When Jennette’s grandfather suggests that Jennette may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, her mother is dismissive.

After noticing that her body is changing, Jennette fears that she is growing up and will no longer be cast in children’s roles. She worries that she will disappoint her mother. She asks her mother how she can stop her body from changing, and her mother teaches her about calorie restriction.

Jennette lands a leading role on the Nickelodeon show iCarly. She plays Sam Puckett, the blunt best friend of Carly Shay. She and her costar develop a strong friendship despite their different socioeconomic backgrounds. The show’s creator, Dan Schneider, is known for being emotionally manipulative and aggressive. iCarly finds success, and Jennette pursues a country music career at the behest of her mother.

Jennette’s mother’s cancer returns as she is about to promote her album. She goes on tour alone, and while away from her mother for the first time, begins eating in excess. She also has her first real kiss. When she returns, she has gained weight, and her mother has become frail. She vows to her mother that she will diet. She gets her own apartment closer to set, but her mother reacts to the attempt at distance by sleeping at Jennette’s apartment almost every night.

Jennette begins dating a much older coworker, but keeps it secret from her mother, who she knows would not approve. Her mother senses that Jennette is hiding something from her and that they are growing apart, and she responds with violence and name-calling. When she discovers the relationship, Jennette’s mother sends her a barrage of abusive messages that attack Jennette’s character and declare her worthless. When Jennette returns to her mother, they pretend it never happened.

Jennette’s mother continues to grow weaker, and Jennette begins binge eating and drinking. On the day her mother finally dies, Jennette is numb with alcohol.

Jennette develops bulimia. While on set for a new TV show in Canada, she falls in love with an assistant director named Steven. After discovering her eating disorder, he delivers an ultimatum that forces Jennette to meet a therapist. However, when her therapist expresses concern about Jennette’s relationship with her mother, she fires her.

Steven becomes a born again Christian and expresses a desire to be celibate. Jennette grows further dissatisfied in her career. She meets up with her father, who confesses to her that he is not her biological father. Shocked, Jennette tries to talk to Steven, only to find that he has begun suffering from the delusion that he is Jesus Christ. Jennette realizes that her life is falling apart and seeks new treatment for her eating disorder.

Steven begins psychiatric medication and seems to be doing better but refuses to address his chronic drug use. As Jennette succeeds in recovery, she finds herself growing further apart from him. Ultimately, she chooses to break things off. As she continues to improve and develop healthier habits, she meets her biological father and steps away from acting.

blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text
blurred text