As a writer, of course I love to write books, read them and share them. I am particularly grateful and gleeful for this opportunity to share some information with you about a few of my favorite books about mothers and motherhood during this time in the USA when we celebrate mothers. I chose three distinctly different books with the hope that you can find one that resonates with your spirit. One focuses on the wonders of black mothers, the two others explore the challenges of learning to live without your mother, be it from death or dysfunction. I have also included a reading list of other books about mothers and motherhood for those of you who would like to read more about the subject.
Our Black Mothers: Brave, Bold and Beautiful is an amazing anthology created by Joslyn Gaines and Anita McGee Royston. It is a compelling and comprehensive collection of stories that encompass the vast dimensions of black motherhood from birth, coming of age, work/life balance, illness and death. It is a fitting tribute to the lives, loves and legacies of black mothers. The book is a fitting tribute to the countless contributions, unyielding sacrifice, limitless love, courage and grace of black mothers alive and deceased. The reader will appreciate how the editors’ showcased through their choice of stories, the strength, dignity, wisdom and passion of black mothers as they overcame obstacles, sang through difficulties and clawed through adversity. This book is remarkably educational, entertaining and inspirational. Its a real page turner.
When You and Your Mother Can’t Be Friends: Resolving the Most Complicated Relationship of Your Life by Victoria Secunda. Its the perfect book for people who have a challenging and/or dysfunctional relationship with their mother. After interviewing over 100 grown daughters who had difficult relationships with their mothers, Ms. Segunda was able to sort out and distill 5 distinct mothering styles and 5 daughter styles as well as a list of questions to use if someone chooses to try navigate a discussion with a mother with whom someone has a less than stellar relationship. The book also gives the reader the strength to acknowledge and accept the futility of a dysfunctional mother daughter relationship and the tools to let go if necessary.
Motherless Daughters: Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman chronicles the emotional terrain of a woman whose mother has died by exploring the myriad ways that losing a mother can affect every aspect of a surviving daughter’s life. Edelman explains the stages of grief and ongoing process of releasing that is necessary to finally arrive at some modicum of peace with such a life altering loss. She helps the reader understand and accept the harsh reality that when a mother dies, the mourning never completely ends but with the help of one’s community or a support group, a surviving daughter can use the grief as a stepping stone for transformation and personal evolution.
Below is a list of other books on mothers and motherhood to explore:
- White Oleander by Janet Fitch
- The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
- The Wholeness of a Broken Heart by Katie Singer
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Anywhere But Hereby Mona Simpson
- Blue Nights by Joan Didion
- For You, Mom, Finally by Ruth Reichl
- Of Women Born by Adrienne Rich
- Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston
- Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
- Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt