Making up with mother is no easy business. In Iris Krasnow's I Am My Mother's Daughter, the experience begins at home: She writes about reconciling as an adult with her difficult, strongly opinionated 84-year-old mother. Krasnow draws on her own experiences and those of other baby-boomer women to show that it is never too late to ditch painful baggage and learn to love Mom anew.
At 50, American University communications professor Krasnow (Surrendering to Marriage) reconciled with her difficult mother, a Holocaust survivor and former saleswoman. Here she gathers insights from other adult women with diverse backgrounds and experiences but similar life wisdom: "Ditching old baggage and learning to love our mothers must come before we learn to love, and know, ourselves." A private investigator becomes caretaker to her highly competent mother, a former nurse, and discovers that the Superwoman is merely human; a Trinidadian immigrant and victim of spousal abuse accepts her lawyer daughter's lesbianism and gains her respect. A therapist and survivor of eating disorders shares a marital problem with her "historically non-empathetic" mother and is gratified by her response; a social services professional pushing 70 learns to cope with the 96-year-old family matriarch who still treats her like a child. Celebrities get to vent, too: singer Chynna Phillips reconnects with her neglectful rock star mother, Michelle, of the Mamas and the Papas, as they bond over Chynna's children and a passion for music. Although it doesn't pack the punch that Nancy Friday's revolutionary My Mother/My Self did in its day, Krasnow's worthy effort will resonate with introspective baby boomers.(May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Based on interviews and her own experiences, author and journalist Krasnow (communications, American Univ.; Surrendering to Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and Other Imperfections) illustrates how all daughters can improve their relationships with their mothers. Her thesis embraces the belief that healing can be achieved in even the most horrible relationships and that healing gives peace and understanding to the daughter as she ages. This very upbeat and insightful text will surely be of wide interest, since the mother-daughter relationship rivets nearly all women's attention, but it especially speaks to middle-aged women who have already achieved a level of maturity, achievement, and independence in their lives. A bibliography and/or a notes section would have enhanced the author's work (there are only a few pages of references); all the same, it is highly recommended for public libraries of all sizes.-Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.