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Motherless Mothers

How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become
Narrated by: Hope Edelman
Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Hope Edelman finished writing Motherless Daughters, she thought she had said all she could about the long-term effects of early mother loss. Published in 1994, the book touched a nerve in women across the country and went on to become an enduring New York Times best seller. Edelman, who was 17 when her own mother died, told the collective story of mother loss with such candor, empathy, and informed wisdom that she quickly became a widely recognized expert on the topic.

But when she became a parent, she found herself revisiting her loss in ways she had never anticipated. Now the mother of two young girls, Edelman set out to learn how the loss of a mother to death or abandonment can affect the ways women raise their own children. From her exhaustive investigation, including a survey of more than one thousand women, comes Motherless Mothers, the enlightening and inspiring next step in the motherless journey.

Using her own story as a prism, Edelman reveals the unique anxieties and desires these mothers experience as they raise their children without the help of a living maternal guide. She examines their parenting choices, their unexpected triumphs, and their fears, from the initial decision to have a child, through pregnancy, the delivery room, and the child-rearing years. Identifying "Eight Themes of Motherless Mothers" that cut across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines, Edelman illuminates how the experience of loss directly impacts the ways in which these women parent their own children.

Enriched by the voices of the mothers themselves, as well as filled with practical insight and advice from experienced professionals, this impeccably researched and luminously written book offers motherless mothers the guidance and support they want and need.

©2006 Hope Edelman (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"She presents emotionally charged concepts in clear, memorable terms to encourage frank, cathartic discussion." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Love It!!!!!!!

This book, for me, was so wonderful in the way that the author helped me to realize that I am normal! I am always being labeled as "paranoid" or "neurotic" and it's always by somebody who has a family unit in place. I understand now that what makes me different from my spouse and all of my friends when it comes to parenting is that I grew up without the closeness of a mother and the absence of a father. I grew up with the realization that I could only depend on 1 grandparent, who loved me very much but, had a dysfunctional relationship with her own daughter, which was my mother. I was conditioned to be very independent which made life tough once I reached high school because at that time I was unwilling to follow direction from a parent. I stopped living with my mother at 15 and the relationship ceased at that time and is still void as I speak. I had my daughter in 2006 and it really caught me off guard when I heard that my mother was bragging about becoming a grandmother to other family members. Actually, when I heard that she was saying that, it pissed me off. My mother did contact me shortly after the birth of my daughter and I realized that I was not ready to explore that relationship ever again and that my daughter is never going to know her grandmother on her mother's side. My mother never did want a child and it showed all throughout my childhood. I suffer from the same insecurities and fears as other "motherless" mothers do. Even though my mother is still alive, she is still empty inside and feels no connection to me the way a mother who loves her child would feel. This book helped me to clear out the unknowns in my head and gave me a boost of confidence in how I will be as a mother to my own daughter. I absolutely love this book and highly suggest it to anyone who has been denied a relationship with their mother. It will show you that you are normal to feel the way you do and it's ok to guard yourself of those fears. Enjoy!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • MT
  • 01-02-12

Boring

What disappointed you about Motherless Mothers?

it just rambled on

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Hope Edelman?

the narrator was ok

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Motherless Mothers?

Most of it

Any additional comments?

Just wasnt anything i expected.