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Good Daughters : Loving Our Mothers as They Age Paperback – May 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 289 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446523593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446523592
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,884,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mother and daughter: for both members, it's a long and complicated relationship. With today's increased longevity has come the growth of the "sandwich generation": baby boomers who are caring for both their aging parents and their own young children. What does this mean for the mother-daughter relationship? In Good Daughters: Loving Our Mothers As They Age, journalist Patricia Beard explores the emotional impact of aging and asks the essential questions, "How can we make peace with our mothers?" and "Why is it so hard?"

Based on dozens of interviews, Beard attempts to understand what works--and does not work--in women's relationships with their aging mothers. Good Daughters is structured into three sections: "Reality Check," a discussion of the changing mother-daughter relationship as women age as well as changes in the culture; "Profiles," an in-depth description of mother-daughter pairs; and "Loss," an exploration of the grieving process--for both mother and daughter--as death becomes imminent. Good Daughters is sensitively and thoughtfully written and brings a great deal of insight to this difficult topic. Readers struggling with the issue of what it means to be a daughter of an aging mother might want to augment this fine book with Alix Kates Shulman's brilliant memoir, A Good Enough Daughter. --Ericka Lutz

From Publishers Weekly

"Can we feel what it is like to be old when we are in the middle of our lives?" asks Beard (Growing Up Republican) in this sensitive and well-written study of the relationship between baby boomer daughters and their aging mothers. The author, a journalist who herself has an aging parent, has pinpointed a sociological and personal concern that has emerged as women live longer and their daughters are frequently called upon to become their primary caretakers. In this self-help manual for those who are or will soon be assisting their mothers through their last stages of life, the author addresses the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship, sometimes characterized by ambivalence and unmet expectations on the part of both women. Beard draws on academic studies and interviews with both professionals and ordinary women to describe the difficulties stemming from the role reversal that occurs as elderly women become more dependent. Daughters who are struggling to do the right thing by their mothers will find a wealth of true stories, encompassing mothers and daughters who have a loving history, daughters whose mothers were once abusive, and women who currently live with their mothers or are separated from them by distance. In this valuable, accessible resource Beard also addresses the unique closeness that often exists between mothers and daughters in African-American families. National advertising.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a novice in the field of "Oh my God, mom is coming to live with me", I was so heartened to find this book, which BTW I have not even finished yet, and know that the petty annoyances that plague me are not a reason to consume me with guilt. I am not alone. How reassuring it was for me to know that other women are still feeling the tug of their mom's advice, criticism, competition yada yada yada. I know I love my mom but was concerned about my inability to relate to where she is coming from at this point in her life,being 86 years old, as well as how I wanted our relationship to be at my own age of 50. Now I better understand and it has made me a more compassionate daughter. I have found myself sobbing at times reading this book as well as laughing at myself AND my mom. I am now not so afraid to proceed to the end.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
GOOD DAUGHTERS treats a crucial subject -- how to deal with aging mothers -- at a crucial time when the population of older mothers and mid-life daughters is expanding. This book contains valuable data and poignant profiles which reach across women's experience. The author writes beautifully and insightfully. I have already recommended this book to friends and teachers of women's studies. There is something here for every woman and every student of contemporary American life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
A must read for every caring woman. Aging is a difficult topic, which Pat Beard manages to make palatable, helpful and interesting. By turns anecdotal, by turns analytical, she shows us the varieties of mother - daughter relationships. It's a wise and helpful book..
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