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Publishers WeeklyBook editor Thomas was ten years old when her father died, and she's struggled to make sense of that loss for more than 50 years. Weaving theory and testimony into a diagnostic text with a general prescription for healing, Thomas examines women coping with the loss of a father, through death or divorce. In four sections-"Fathering," "Shock," "Aftershock," and "Coming to Terms"-Thomas confronts the idealization of the father, resentment toward his loss, the reaction of family members and potential impact on future relationships, among other angles. Aside from her own story and the work of psychologists, analysts and social scientists, Thomas's primary research material comes from interviews she conducted with more than100 grown women. Unfortunately, the similarities among Thomas's subjects (affluent and middle-class women of a similar age) and the insularity of her sources limit readers' exposure to the true spectrum of loss. Relying on familiar narratives of pain and recovery, Thomas may offer some comfort and counsel, but fails to capture the issue's full dimensions.
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