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Motherless Daughters: The Legacy Of Loss

By Hope Edelman
Book Details
  • Author: Hope Edelman
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
  • Published: 1994-05-19
Ask any woman whose mother has died at an early (or any) age and she will tell you that her life is irrevocably altered; that this one fact forever changes who she is and who she will be. Gone is the caregiver, teacher, adversary, role model, and guide to being a woman. Often, whole parts of the mother's role transfer to the daughter; grieving can be cut short, cut off, or dismissed in order to "keep the family going." A daughter's relationship with her father and siblings changes and secondary losses can be overwhelming. As adults, a great variety of relationship problems can arise as a result of this primary abandonment. Transition times in a woman's life - leaving home, getting married, having a child - bring up yearnings for guidance or company and there is often nowhere to turn. Until now there has never been a book that examines the profound effects of this loss on a woman's identity, personality, family, and life choices, both immediately and as her life goes on.
Hope Edelman, who lost her mother when she was seventeen, searched for this book and when she couldn't find it, she decided to write it herself. Edelman went across the country speaking to motherless women of all ages, conducted original research, held focus groups, and consulted psychiatrists, psychologists, and experts in grieving. What she found was a country of women anxious to share their common experience. This brave and moving book interweaves Hope's own story with those of the hundreds of women who contacted her. In their own words they express how growing up without a mother continues to affect them in so many ways.

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