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Holding Her Head High: 12 Single Mothers Who Championed Their Children and Changed History Hardcover – March 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078522324X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785223245
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Janine Turner, single mother and actress, played the indefatigable Maggie O'Connell on CBS's hit show Northern Exposure for which she received three Golden Globe Best Actress nominations and one Emmy nomination. She was also chosen as one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People and 10 Best Dressed, and as one of Esquire's Women We Love. She starred in Cliffhanger with Sylvester Stallone and as June Cleaver in the feature film Leave It to Beaver. More recently she starred on Lifetime's hit series Strong Medicine. Besides acting and directing she serves on President Bush's Council for Service and Civic Participation, but her most cherished role is that of mother to Juliette, now nine years old. She counts her greatest blessings to be her faith, her daughter, and spending time together on their ranch in Texas.


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Customer Reviews

It's hard to overstate how inspiring these fabulous stories are.
Susanne Metaxas
This book is a wonderful inspiration for all mothers--single or married.
Z. Shute
As a family counselor I'm also always looking for books to recommend.
Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Z. Shute on March 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When I first started reading this book, I thought I would be more interested in the author's historical account of each single mother's story. However, as I closed the book, I took away so much more than history. This book is a wonderful inspiration for all mothers--single or married. I think our society focuses on married mothers and pushes the single mom under the table. Finally, someone had the strength to speak out for single moms and inspire all moms with these historical accounts of fascinating single moms throughout history.

It would be a lovely gift for friends and moms for mother's day, too.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Schaller on March 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Janine Turner does a nice job writing about a topic that either affects you directly, or someone in your family and circle of friends. As a single father, I related to the stories in here, and appreciated the way Ms. Turner seamlessly wove in stories about her own life to parallel or contradict what she was writing about. Collating so many different perspectives is a challenge as an author -- I have 40 published works, and am a single parent in Texas via Wyoming -- so I appreciate how the book was written. This format makes it difficult to develop a narrative, but the author did just that by reaching far back into history to widen the perspective of the book while the common thread remained the narrowed focus of single parenting. I just thought it was a nice, smooth read, and it's so awesome for those of us who adored Mary Margaret O'Connell to see this single mom developing as a person, spreading her literary wings, and continuing to expand her horizons. She should be applaued for continuing her intellectual exploration of the world, and her place in it. What a great role model for her daughter.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What I found most interesting about the book was its positive, proactive nature. The negative aspects of these womens' lives are not the main focus of their stories-- their faith and fortitude is. These women led humble lives and because of that, extraordinary gifts were given to them.

I would suggest this book not only to single mothers, but for all women seeking inspiration in their lives. All 12 of these women were single mothers, no doubt, but were also great role models for women!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sharyn Taets on March 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I found Janine Turner's book to be quite interesting. I had never given much thought to mothers raising children alone throughout history. It was inspiring to read about single mothers through the centuries raising bright and talented children alone under very stressful and trying conditions. All mothers, single or otherwise, should find value in this book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Deirdre H. Earls on March 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Three things struck me about this book:

1. Janine's generous effort to help others hold onto a vision of greatness despite abysmal circumstances;
2. The benefits of practicing the principles in the book can extend to all;
3. I'm not a mother but I couldn't put this book down.

The book is loaded with stories of women who withstood misery in hopes of building a better life for someone else.

Before reading Janine's book I'd spent years in Europe and visited cathedrals where Constantine's mother left relics from her pilgrimmage to what is now known as Israel. After reading Ms. Turner's book, I returned to Rome and those cathedrals. With a new understanding of what Constantine's mom had done for western civilization (despite abandonment, poverty and decades of isolation), reseeing those relics became entirely spectacular.

I can't call myself a Christian. But I don't let that stop me from seeing the universal connection between a virtuous life and reward. This, rather than simply evangelizing for Christianity, is the essence of Janine's book.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Gillespie on February 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Holding Her Head High is an inspirational book that lifts up every mother, single or married, who ever felt alone and challenged by circumstances beyond her control. Janine Turner, herself a single mother, reaches back through time to bring us well researched, intimate portraits of 12 amazing women who lovingly raised their children through faith and determination, and who "found their wings" along the way, changing history! Janine intersperses their stories with life lessons from each, and her personal observations of life as a single mother.

This book will make a wonderful Mother's Day gift for any mother, and its historical accounts are just in time for Women's History Month in March! I suggest you buy at least two - one for yourself and one to give away!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Readalots on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Television actor and movie star turned author Janine Turner offers a great read on single motherhood's historical struggles in "Holding Her Head High" (2008 332-page hardback). These well researched (with 7 pages of end notes) vignettes cause one to pause and reflects on the plight of singles mothers. Her stories are visionary vignettes.

Stepping from her own experience of similar circumstances, Turner walks across history from the 3rd into the 20th century telling the stories of 12 women raising children without spouses. She adroitly presents Helena (mother of Roman emperor Constantine), Blanche of Castile (queen mother of medieval France), Eliza Pinckney (mother of two 18th century American statesmen), Abigail Adams (mother of an American President), Belva Lockwood (mother who ran for President) to name only a few. Each of these stories is gripping and thought provoking. My favorite chapter relates Cara Brown's life-long search for daughter Eliza Jane after their heartless forced separation by a pre Civil War slave sale. (By chapter 16's end, I was tearing up and cheering, "You Go Girl, Get Up and Run!").

Turner's style is comfortable and persuasive. Her single mothers come alive with personality, strength, and vision. They love their children and work the near impossible to succeed. You'll want to stand along-side them with each hardship, through each mishap, during each celebration. The author draws on her own religious background and Christian faith for interpreting each single mom's trouble. By the end, Turner is correctly able to say that single parenthood is a dramatic gift from God (given to those with the personal courage and faith to see it through).

This book is an excellent gift candidate, particularly for those wanting to know how others overcame adversity through faith, hope, and love. Once again, Janine Turner proves that she is much more than just another pretty Texan!

HAPPY ADVENT!
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