Most helpful critical review
Three stars --- with some caveats.
on October 7, 2015
I spotted this book on display across from the checkout desk of our local library while waiting for a friend. I checked it out because my relationship with my daughter has gone through many ups and downs over the years. She is 53, the mother of 3 young adults, and I am 77, her mother, the mother of her brother, age 55, and of 3 adult (ages 62, 59, 57) children whom I hesitate to call "steps" though technically, that is the relationship. Their father and I married in the '60's. In a way, we may have been called 1960/70's "laissez-faire" style parents (p. 24) in contrast to the "helicopter" parenting the author also mentions.
I thought perhaps this book would give me some clues as to why my relationship with my daughter (I shall call her "D" in this review) is not what I would like it to be. I will admit, I did not have the patience to read the whole book, although there was an occasional statement that made me wonder if it was applicable to D in her growing up years. She was moody and moodier it seemed, and on p. 27 Sil Reynolds (the mother author) wrote, "If you remain conscious of the fact that deep down she always, always wants to connect, then you will recognize your daughter's moody cues as a signal of her need, not as a rejection of you."
However, as one who believes that we are created in the image of God, I found the premise in the following statement on p. 25 very undermining to perhaps most of the assumptions and conclusions of the rest of the book: "Attachment is a biological system developed through evolution to protect not only our children but also our bonds with our children." I have studied the issues surrounding creation versus evolution for most of my adult life and have concluded that there is simply no scientific evidence for it, (see icr.org) nor has it ever contributed to the true science that has improved our lives, nor does it provide any answers for the questions that Eliza Reynolds lists on p. 15 of her section.
"Who AM I?
What am I going to make of my life?
What happens when I die?
What is the meaning of life? Why am I here, literally, on earth? Do I matter any more that that an ant on the hot pavement?
What is love? Does marriage mean you love each other forever? Do I have a soul mate?
Why is my mom the way she is?
Does God exist? or "goddess"? Or any kind higher power?
What do others think of me? Is this important? Why?
What will make me happy? Is happiness the most important thing? What is the most important thing in this life?"
There may be some helpful insights in this book that are applicable to moms and teens today, but to this great grandmother, it all seems so complex, and surely beyond the reading comprehension of a large percent of our population. It seems to me that the tried and true precepts of the Bible --"do unto others," "love one another," etc., if followed by the grace and with the help of God are a better guide to mother/daughter and all other relationships. In these precepts and promises I still have hope for a better and more loving relationship with "D."