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Motherless Mothers [Audio]
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About the Author

Hope Edelman has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters and its companion volume, Letters from Motherless Daughters. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California, with her husband and their two daughters. Hope Edelman has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters and its companion volume, Letters from Motherless Daughters. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California, with her husband and their two daughters.

Reviews

In this fascinating, transparently titled book, Edelman (Motherless Daughters; Mother of My Mother: The Intimate Bond Between Generations) continues her pioneering work, exploring what happens to daughters when they lose their mothers at a relatively young age. Previously, she demonstrated that mother loss pervades every aspect of a daughter's life, essentially shaping who and what she becomes. Here, Edelman turns her scrutiny to the ways in which mother loss shapes mothering itself. She contends that "motherless mothers" struggle with parenting issues unique to them. Thus, a mother who has lost her own mother may find that she tries to re-parent herself as she raises her children. She may, in fact, experience difficulty in distinguishing her own abandonment issues from normal responses and behavior in her children. Drawing upon extensive interviews of motherless mothers, Edelman illuminates the transformative power of understanding mother loss. Citing Harriet Lerner's The Mother Dance and Linda Gray Sexton's Searching for Mercy Street, along with other works on parenting and death, Edelman offers essential wisdom. Highly recommended for public and university libraries.-Lynne Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., Villanova, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Edelman first undertook this painful topic in 1994 (Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss), drawing from her own experience of losing her mother at 17. Now a mother herself, she considers how her mother's absence has shaped her seven years of parenting. Through interviews, anecdotes and psychological research, Edelman discusses the challenge of mothering in the shadow of someone gone, which often triggers a resurgence of childhood grief and confusion. But this is less a book on mourning than a supportive guide for mothers who may feel overwhelmed and alone, bereft of their own mothers' presence, advice and support. Chapters address general child-rearing topics for each age group with focuses specific to the reader: the void of the absent grandmother, the urge to overcompensate and the perpetual impulse to protect one's family from the specter of loss. Bereavement counselors examine the process of revisiting a traumatic youth through one's children, which affords the opportunity to heal. Edelman's voice, suffused with fierce maternal love, joins the candid recollections from motherless mothers of all ages and backgrounds. She presents emotionally charged concepts in clear, memorable terms (e.g., reaching the "neon number" of a mother's age of death) to encourage frank, cathartic discussion. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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