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Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond Paperback – April 1, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This intimate collection of writing explores the complex relationship of mothers and daughters. In The Mother Load, Jacquelyn Mitchard, even as a grown woman and mother herself, feels nothing truly bad can ever happen if my mother is around. Joyce Maynard recalls My Mother at Fifty and talks about how her mother's decision to stay in an unhappy marriage because of her and her sister helped her through her own painful divorce. Tara Bray Smith, whose mother battled drug addiction, discusses grief, pain and acceptance in her essay In the Offing—the wonderful thing about adulthood is realizing that we are all deficient, and after a certain point no one is accountable for that but ourselves. The beauty of this collection, edited by Richesin (editor of The May Queen) is the realization that, despite mothers good and bad, suicidal, depressed, divorced, neglectful, all the women here remain hopeful—for themselves, their mothers and their own children, who they understand are undeniably shaped by all that has happened and can use this knowledge to face what lies ahead. (Apr.)
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Review

This intimate collection of writing explores the complex relationship of mothers and daughters. In The Mother Load, Jacquelyn Mitchard, even as a grown woman and mother herself, feels nothing truly bad can ever happen if my mother is around. Joyce Maynard recalls My Mother at Fifty and talks about how her mother's decision to stay in an unhappy marriage because of her and her sister helped her through her own painful divorce. Tara Bray Smith, whose mother battled drug addiction, discusses grief, pain and acceptance in her essay In the Offing the wonderful thing about adulthood is realizing that we are all deficient, and after a certain point no one is accountable for that but ourselves. The beauty of this collection, edited by Richesin (editor of The May Queen) is the realization that, despite mothers good and bad, suicidal, depressed, divorced, neglectful, all the women here remain hopeful for themselves, their mothers and their own children, who they understand are undeniably shaped by all that has happened and can use this knowledge to face what lies ahead. (Apr.) --Publishers Weekly

This collection about one of the most complex relationships we have is so rich and varied that you ll want to read the whole thing from start to finish and then dip into it again and again. The essays are, by turns, wry, funny, angry, forgiving, sad, joyous, and a great many of them are all of these things at once. The book is suffused with hope and punctuated by a fierce, fierce love. --Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Love Walked In and Belong To Me

In our daughters' faces, we see different versions of ourselves: early hopes and dreams, years of self-discovery and hard work to chase after our goals, and the rich reality of the compromises, challenges and joys of being a woman and mother. This candid exploration of 'our daughters, ourselves' captures the unique frustrations and delights facing mothers and daughters today. --Leslie Morgan Steiner, Mommy Wars editor and author of Crazy Love
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373892020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373892020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Julie Peterson on April 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a sucker for books that delve into mother/daughter relationships. I am both a mother and a daughter, and I always seem to relate just a little to the stories. BECAUSE I LOVE HER: 34 WOMEN WRITERS REFLECT ON THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER BOND edited by Andrea N. Richesin is a book that brings a whole new dimension to the mother/daughter bond. This book is a collection of 34 essays by famous women writers about their personal experiences with their mothers and/or daughters.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It goes without saying that many of these women who wrote essays for this book are extremely gifted writers so the prose is beautiful. In addition, these women know how to tell a story and it seems like they each have a very special one to share. Their essays will make you laugh, cry, and even shake your head; but they all tell a story worth reading.

Not all the mother/daughter relationship stories were happy -- quite a few caused me to tear up and thank God that I do have good relationships with my grandmothers, mother, and daughter. The stories in this book seemed very real and honest to me. I was amazed by how many of the women in this book had less than optimal mothers and managed to overcome it and find success and happiness in their lives. While the stories weren't always happy, the ultimate messages were generally upbeat and very life affirming. You can't help but be touched by the love that is shared between mothers and daughters.

I enjoyed all of the stories in one way or another, but there were a few that affected me quite a bit. Sometimes it was because I adore the author (like Katherine Center) but other times it was because I could really relate to the story. I am fortunate enough to still have both of my grandmothers alive (as I approach 40!
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I rarely read collections of essays (David Sedaris being the main exception), but yet I absolutely loved this wonderfully and intensely touching and emotionally charged book. It was "assigned" for my mom's group book club and I only picked it up the day before the meeting, thinking I would skim through some of the essays. I ended up spending the entire day reading and was even excited to get up for my 4:00 a.m. feeding so that I could continue it. While reading, I sat holding my 6 week old daughter, often crying, sometimes laughing, and feeling compelled to share with her the legacy she has inherited from my amazing mother and the hopes and dreams I have for her as she grows up. I have since purchased a copy for my mother and best friend and would recommend it to anyone who has a mother and a daughter.
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This is one of those books that you can't stop reading, but at the same time never want to finish it. It's a honest, heartwarming, memory awakening, wonderfully written book.
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Format: Paperback
This was a great anthology. The writers were gifted and diverse in history/demographic, etc. As a mother of a daughter, and of course a daughter myself, I cried after many of the stories. However, this is not fluffy, hallmark reading-- some of the stories are tough. But woven throughout was a road map of what matters in being a daughter and a mother of a girl. It is a wonderful read.
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Format: Paperback
How can I express how I feel about this book? 2 stories in, I cried. 34 women writers have spilled out their hearts in the pages of this book. The stories are all moving in their own way. Emotions will be stretched to the limit as you read through these stories. If they don't stir something in you, I'd be surprised. Each of these authors tells stories of what their mothers were like and how that has shaped the mothers they wanted to be or have become. They also tell stories of their own children and what it's like being a mother. I was so moved by each of their stories. They made me smile, cry, think of my mother, wish for a daughter, feel love, and remember what Mother's Day is all about. My favorie was Things to Remember Not to Forget by Katherine Center. She starts out with, "At our house, for our kids, who are two and five, everything is better with a big side order of Naked." Instant laughter! Should she record all the little moments, as her mom did, or be in the moment with her children? Her words, in the end, made me cry. Or what about Sheila Kohler's story about her daughter, born deaf, learned to talk and taught her parents to listen This is a book I will be passing on to my mother to read and one that I'll be recommending from now on.
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Format: Paperback
There are certain books that elevate the human condition. This is one of those books. Not simply due to the fact that we all have some kind of relationship with our mothers; the good, the bad, the ugly and hopefully the transcendent. But also because within these stories, the writers have invited us to join them in ways that offer hope and a kind of self-deprecating wonder. Andrea Richesin has managed, with this thoughtful collection of writers, to weave a tapestry of colors of the emotional terrain of motherhood. At times mundane, silly, beautiful, angry, heart wrenching and yet always unflinchingly honest and thought provoking. I saw myself, my friends, my mother and my daughter in many of these stories. And then I bought the book for all of them. It is not easy to pick a favorite story. They all sing their own song in their own key and each one rings true to me at different times. I have now read it at least twice and I keep it handy for times when I need a moment of sometimes uncomfortable and yet forgiving recognition of where I am as a woman, a mother and a daughter. I cannot recommend this enough. Buy it for yourself and then for all the women you know.
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