Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss

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Overview


An instant bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, Hope Edelman's Motherless Daughters explores the myriad ways that losing a mother can affect almost every aspect and passage of a woman's life. First published a decade ago, it is still the book that motherless daughters of all ages look to for understanding and comfort and that they press into each other's hands. Building on interviews with hundreds of mother- loss survivors, this life-affirming book is now newly expanded to reflect the author's personal ...
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Overview


An instant bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, Hope Edelman's Motherless Daughters explores the myriad ways that losing a mother can affect almost every aspect and passage of a woman's life. First published a decade ago, it is still the book that motherless daughters of all ages look to for understanding and comfort and that they press into each other's hands. Building on interviews with hundreds of mother- loss survivors, this life-affirming book is now newly expanded to reflect the author's personal experience with the continued legacy of mother loss; now married and a mother of young children herself, Edelman better understands how the effects of mother loss change over time and in light of new relationships. A work of stunning courage and honesty, Motherless Daughters is a must read for the millions of women whose mothers have gone, but whose need for healing, mourning, and mothering remains. It is a timeless classic.

This groundbreaking book interweaves the author's own story with those of hundreds of women across the U.S. Their words express how growing up without a mother continues to affect their relationships with others and themselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Filled with real-life stories...[Edelman is] an expert on mother loss.
The Forward
Edelman [is] an icon for motherless women everywhere. The book helped launch a movement.
Cleveland Jewish News
[A] groundbreaking bestseller...Sparked a grassroots movement of support groups and Internet sites.
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angles
A New York Times best seller that sparked dialogue and helped pave the way for...open discourse on the subject.
Library Journal
How does the death of a mother during a daughter's childhood affect her life? Author and narrator Edelman (Letters from Motherless Daughters, Addison-Wesley, 1995), whose mother died when Edelman was 17, answers this question as she relates her feelings and those of many other women who lost their mothers early in life, all within a framework of expert opinon from psychologists, psychoanalysts, and experts in grieving. Her insights on the psychological development of motherless daughters, their relationships with family members and with others, and their life choices should be very useful to women who have experienced a similar loss. Recommended for popular psychology collections.-Trish Ridgeway, Handley Lib., Winchester, Va.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738210261
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2006
  • Edition description: Second Edition, Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 58,142
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hope Edelman

Hope Edelman is a writer whose work has appeared nationally. She graduated from the University of Iowa Writing Program and lives in New York City. Her mother died when she was seventeen.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Ch. 1 The Seasons of Grieving: Mourning Takes Time 3
Ch. 2 Times of Change: Developmental Stages of a Daughter's Life 26
Ch. 3 Cause and Effect: No Way Is the Best Way 62
Ch. 4 Later Loss: Learning How to Let Go 90
Ch. 5 Daddy's Little Girl: The Father-Daughter Dyad 107
Ch. 6 Sister and Brother, Sister and Sister: Sibling Connections and Disconnections 134
Ch. 7 Looking for Love: Intimate Relationships 155
Ch. 8 When a Woman Needs a Woman: Gender Matters 175
Ch. 9 Who She Was, Who I Am: Developing an Independent Identity 197
Ch. 10 Mortal Lessons: Life, Death, Sickness, Health 215
Ch. 11 The Daughter Becomes a Mother: Extending the Line 235
Ch. 12 The Female Phoenix: Creativity, Achievement, and Success 259
Epilogue 278
Appendix 285
Bibliography 291
Notes 293
Index 315
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 44 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 44 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 9, 2011

    Highly recommend

    I read the original version about 15 years ago. I was 25 years old and it was three years after my mother had died. I remember saying countless times "she wrote exactly what I said." There were so many things that were word for word out of my mother. The book provided so much validation for the thoughts and feelings I had. It was very helpful in my healing. Probably the most important thing that I had said (and Hope reiterated) was the happiest times of my life would also be the saddest. Though true, I never let my grief over take teh joy of life. Thank you Hope!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Learning to Accept What is...

    This book is not just for those who have mortally lost their parent...its for those of us who had a mother that either left us physically, mentally, or emotionally...thereby, forcing children to find another maternal outlet. When you don't have a mother to show you the way, you often think that something is wrong with you, but it's NOT your fault. Something is wrong with the parent. This book helps you to find compassion, understanding, and ultimately...forgiveness, not just for her...but for you too. Forgiveness is necessary for both of you, so that you can move past the loss, pain, and hurt of being left behind.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    The book I give to all "Motherless Daughters"

    My boss gave me this book 5 years after my mom died, and I couldn't put it down. I read it all the way as we drove to KY to see my in-laws. I immediately told my mother-in-law, who lost her mother 60 years prior, and she went out to the library and couldn't put it down. I have since given it to every woman I know who has lost her mother, no matter when the loss occurred because it fits every age and situation. Like parenting is something you can't explain, there is nothing like the loss of a mother. Hope Edelman has helped me to pay it forward to all women who are grappling with this emotional tragedy.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    Helped me so much!

    I was only 2 years old when my mom died. It has been difficult to deal with the pain and feelings I've had all my life. People can say cruel things without realising it. I had always felt like there was something different about me than others and that I never fit in. After I had read the book, it answered so many questions that I didn't even know I had. It helped me to understand why I felt the way I did and gave me the validation I needed. Unless someone has lost their own mother they just have no clue what devastation it causes. This book should really be more well known!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2002

    Every motherless woman needs this book!

    My mom died when I was 21 years old. I stumbled upon this book while searching the self-help aisle in a bookstore. I am now 28 years old and I cling to this book. The advice, stories, and practical information helped when therapy did not! There's also a MD workbook available. This book changed me forever just as losing my mother. Daughters you are not alone and do read this book!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 24, 2011

    Exactly what I needed

    My mother passed away when I was 16. My Aunt bought this for me as a gift a few years after. This book is exactly everything I was trying to say and couldn't. I have read it a dozen times. It has been so helpful to me. A friend of mine unfortunately lost has Mom this year and I bought this book for her in hopes it will help her like it helped me. This book has restored my sanity and has made me realize I am not alone in my grief.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Full of Heart

    Only a woman who has lost her mother can understand the deep, emotional pain of a woman who has lost her mother. Hope Edelman captures those feelings and puts them to paper (with the help of the courageous women who volunteered to be interviewed by her) in a truly touching fashion. This book is easy to read, informative (for a non-academic publication), and was the first of it's kind. This book can help provide a sense of calm in a world of chaos and an understanding of self when the woman who was supposed to teach us that is gone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2006

    A must have....

    This book explains so much. It was amazing reading the stories from other women who lost their Mothers and relating to everything they had to say!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2003

    A Must Read

    I loss my mother when I was 14. I read this book when I was 32 and it turned my life around. I don't know what's worse, losing a mother early on in life or later, the pain is the same. The stories of other women helped me tremendously. It helped me realize wasn't the only one in this world who felt angry, betrayed, lost, abandoned, ashamed, and alone because of my mothers death. This book gave me a sense of peace and comfort. I learned so much from women I'll probably never meet. Since then, I've shared this book with my sister and other women who share the same loss. Thank you for sharing your stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2003

    I found hope in this book

    I was going thru books at the book store one day @ 2 months after my 49 yr old mother died. I fell upon this book and it seriously change my life at that moment. I was sure no one could ever imagine how I was feeling. Well not only did I find I was not alone but I found a way to heal. It is still to this day, one of the only things that helps me get throu the 'why me' days. I have given this book to many friends who have lost their mothers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2001

    This book provided 'therapy' for me

    I stumbled upon this book when I was 28 years old, 10 years after I had lost my mother to breast cancer. I did not have any friends who had lost their mother, and most members of my family were dealing with their own grief and thus unable to help with mine. In essence I was completely alone in dealing with the most devastating loss in my life. This book provided the most significant guidance in my mourning and loss. It showed me that the mourning would last forever, and change with each stage of my life. Most importantly, it confirmed my belief that the physical loss of my mother helped define who I am today. I now buy or reccommend this book to anyone I know who has lost their mother, regardless of their age at the time of physical loss. Thank you Hope.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2001

    Sounds so familiar

    I picked up this book about a month ago when I was depressed. On September 21st my Mom will have been dead for 2 years. I, like many others, hid my grief as to protect the rest of my family. I am the baby, but I was the only one able to function after my mom died (I was 17). I planned a funeral, went through her stuff, and did it all in a daze. I am finally allowing myself to express my grief and this book was incredible. It absolutely summed up how I feel. There is a part that talks about wanting to tell everyone that my mom died because that would sum up who I am. I read it to my dad and he finally understood how I felt. I recommend this book to anyone, even those with a Mom. It's great.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    This was a great book I lost my first copy and had to buy anothe

    This was a great book I lost my first copy and had to buy another one. It help me out a lot. Just to be able to read other people stories. Just to be able to also see how other deal with there problems. Overall it help out a lot for me. I really recommend this book and Motherless Mothers as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2013

    I was not a young woman when my mother died.  She was 81 years o

    I was not a young woman when my mother died.  She was 81 years old.  But the loss still seemed to me incalculable, and the hurt did not lessen over time.  This book helped me to come to grips with my grief and made me realize that it was okay for me to always love her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    This book was extremely helpful in dealing with the loss of my mother. It talks about all the stages of grief; how family dynamics change with the death of the family matriarch. I was feeling particularly stressed over my new role as the matriarch of the family I grew up in. This book helped me deal with that and accept it. Great book. I recommend it to all my girlfriends when they lose their mother.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2012

    O...M...G

    I havent even read it all and it already explained so many things about myself that I've been questioning for years! I never dreamed another person cold understand me almost better than I understand myself. Thank you for writing this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2006

    a must read at any age

    I must have bought this book about 10 times so far. I have given it as a gift to anybody that has lost a mother. I lost my mother when I was 15, I read the book when I was in my late 30's. If I only had it ealier, I would have been a lot better of.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2004

    If you lost a mother read this book

    This book has so much insiration to give to those those dealing with the loss of a mother, letters form those who have and how they dealt//deal with it. The pain is always there, but it is nice to know you can get answers to the questions you have from others who have experienced the same. I also gave a friend fatherless daughters, when she lost her dad

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2003

    This book was the starting point to help for me

    This book was the starting point to help for me. It helped me to understand what happened to me and why, then I was able to better cope with the feelings and pain that I had been pushing down and away and not dealing with for about 15 years. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone who has suffered early mother loss. It is extremely focused an informative. I also became involve in one of the local chapters of motherles daughters and that helped even more. They meet every Saturday each year, the day before mothers day to celebrate thier mothers lives. Wow! :0)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    Must read

    This is a must read for any girl/woman who has lost her mother.

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