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Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by…

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss

by Hope Edelman

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Although a mother's mortality is inevitable, no book had discussed the profound, lasting, and far-reaching effects of this loss until "Motherless Daughters," which became an instant classic.
  CommunityResources | Dec 20, 2016 |
I started reading this book nearly ten years ago, when the grief counselor recommended it to me after my mother died. I read most of it then, and put it down with only a few pages to go, until an hour ago.

The book is mainly geared to women who lost their mothers when they were very young. I was 47 when my 87 year old mother died, so a lot of the book didn’t seem to fit my circumstances. That’s why I put it down and never finished it; it enlightened me to some things, like how one will always miss their mother (unless the relationship is very bad) even when they are adults. I had been told by a number of people “Well, you know your parents will die before you; it’s the way life works”; while that is true in most cases, it doesn’t take the pain away.

But near the end is a section devoted to how the motherless daughter raises her own children, and suddenly I related to the book: my mother lost her own mother when she was only nine. And my mother fit almost exactly the character of the motherless daughter as a mother herself. Suddenly, I understood a lot of things about her- and about myself. I might not have been the intended audience for the book, but it still struck a chord.

The book is a combination of autobiography and psychological analysis. The author did her own survey of women who had lost their mothers; it was a small sample (154 respondents) but she gathered a lot of information from other people’s research as well. I think the book is well done and well worth reading by any woman who lost her mother young or whose mother lost hers young. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | May 26, 2012 |
A must read for any woman who has lost her mother. I found it so useful when a friend died and I took on the care of her 8-year old daughter to try to understand what she might be going through. What I didn't account for was the feelings I had and realised that being adopted, I was experiencing the same sense of loss; a profound moment for me! There aren't enough stars to rate this book ( )
1 vote bluecat51 | Jul 6, 2008 |
I was deeply grieving the loss of my mother as I read this book, published just one year after her death. I found it very helpful in finding a place for my feelings and it helped me to feel less alone in the world, to know that in some way the feelings I had, others had experienced, too. I recommend it for other daughters and often lend out my copy. All kinds of losses and relationships are acknowledged and respected. ( )
2 vote whimsyblue | Jun 2, 2008 |
I was originally given this book shortly after its publication, less than a year after losing my Mom to breast cancer. I just finished rereading it about 13 years later, and found it even more comforting and informative than the first time around. Written by a motherless daughter, the book focuses specifically on a daughter's grief for the early death of her mother. Although it can inform you about grief in general, if this specific scenario does not apply to you, the scope may seem limited unless you are interested in the psychology of bereavement. I found it to be very insightful, touching on an area that is not only rarely discussed in literature, but rarely discussed in life. This book helped me understand that I am not crazy for the magnitude and duration of my grief, nor am I alone in my experience. I also highly recommend the follow up book Hope Edelman wrote, consisting of letters she received after the publication of this work. I'll review that one as soon as I can find it! ( )
1 vote julie2112 | Apr 18, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385314388, Paperback)

Edelman shares her own painful story and the stories of many other women who, as children or adults, lost their mothers. She explains the stages of grief and adjustment. She considers the secondary effects that can occur: the girl-child filling the lost mother's role at home for father and younger siblings. If you've lost your mother, you no longer have to face it alone.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Explores the myriad ways that losing a mother can affect a woman's life. Building on interviews with hundreds of mother-loss survivors, this book reflects the author's personal experience with the legacy of mother loss. It is intended for motherless daughters.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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Hope Edelman is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Hope Edelman chatted with LibraryThing members from Oct 26, 2009 to Nov 6, 2009. Read the chat.

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