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When You and Your Mother Can't be Friends

This, the first book ever to say that mother is not always a girl's best friend, is based on a landmark study of the mother-daughter relationships. Secunda offers breakthrough advice on understanding, and improving, what could be a woman's most critical relationship.
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About the Author

Victoria Secunda is the author of When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life, Women and Their Fathers: The Sexual and Romantic Impact of the First Man In Your Life, and Losing Your Parents, Finding Your Self: The Defining Turning Point of Adult Life. Additionally, her writings have also appeared in Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, and Women's Day. She lives in Connecticut.


In her well-researched study freelance journalist Secunda draws on 100 interviews with grown daughters in which they describe early painful relationships with their mothers, protracted in their adult emotional lives and memories. To help repair the damage done to the psyches of daughters whose mothers are characterized as, for instance, the Avenger, the Doormat, the Smotherer, the author suggests a measure of separation from the mother--``divorce'' if need be--designed to rid the daughter of guilt, restore her self-esteem and prepare her for her own motherhood. Secunda advises daughters to forgive their fallible mothers, ``who did the best they could,'' and attempt a balance based on generosity and self-preservation. Nevertheless, this study tends to treat daughters as hapless victims, underestimating the pressures imposed on mothers of yesterday and today. Major ad/promo; first serial to Redbook; BOMC featured alternate; author tour. (May)

Extensive research went into this detailed study of troubled mother-daughter relationships and how these relationships can be improved, usually through the efforts of the daughter. Dysfunctional parents usually raise dysfunctional children who pass the same behavior on to their children unless a conscientious effort, often with the help of therapy, is made to break the chain. Practical advice on how to come to terms with, and often improve, unhealthy mother-daughter bonds is offered through excerpts from many interviews and quotes from experts. Serial rights to Cosmopolitan and Redbook will bring additional attention to this book.--Marguerite Mroz, Baltimore Cty. P.L.

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