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Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, 20th Anniversary Edition
     

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss, 20th Anniversary Edition

4.6 45
by Hope Edelman
 

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Ask any woman whose mother has died, and she will tell you that she is irrevocably altered, as deeply changed by her mother's death as she was by her mother's life. 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. Twenty

Overview

Ask any woman whose mother has died, and she will tell you that she is irrevocably altered, as deeply changed by her mother's death as she was by her mother's life. 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. Twenty years later, it is still the book that women of all ages look to for comfort and understanding when their mothers die, and the book that they continue to press into each other's hands.

Building on interviews with hundreds of mother-loss survivors, the author's personal story of losing her mother, recent research in grief and psychology, and with a new afterword exploring how the legacy of mother loss shifts with the passage of time, Motherless Daughters reveals the shared experiences and core identity issues of motherless women:

Why the absence of a nurturing hand shapes a woman's identity throughout her lifespan
How present-day relationships are defined by past losses
How a woman can resolve past conflicts and move toward acceptance and healing
What grief really is: not a linear passage, but an ongoing cyclical journey

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Intelligent, brave, consoling, and wise, Motherless Daughters is an essential and illuminating must-read for anyone who has lost a mother or loves someone who did." - Cheryl Strayed, author of the New York Times bestseller Wild

"This book has helped me heal my heart. Finding myself in the stories of other motherless daughters let me know I was not alone. If you have lost your mom--this book is essential." - Rosie O'Donnell

"Motherless Daughters sheds light on an experience--the loss of a mother at any age, but especially at a young age--that is by definition lonely and shadowy. Through thoughtful, in-depth research, and with her companionable voice, Edelman has brought solace to thousands of women over the years, creating a sense of community in the midst of grief." - Meghan O'Rourke, author of The Long Goodbye

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738217741
Publisher:
Da Capo Books
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
102,337
File size:
755 KB

Meet the Author

Hope Edelman is the author of six nonfiction books, including the bestsellers Motherless Daughters and The Possibility of Everything. Her articles and essays have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Real Simple, Glamour, Self, Parade, and the Huffington Post, as well as in numerous anthologies. As a public speaker, she has traveled all over the world to talk about the long-lasting effects of early mother loss. In 2012, she was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement at Northwestern University, her undergraduate alma mater. She holds a master's degree in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Currently an affiliate faculty member in the MFA program at Antioch University-LA, she lives with her husband and their two daughters in Topanga Canyon, California. hopeedelman.com

Customer Reviews

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Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
dfb22 More than 1 year ago
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!
20_years-Motherless More than 1 year ago
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.
HealingMe More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Maribeth721 More than 1 year ago
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.
MoxiePhD More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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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