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Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother Paperback – April 6, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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“So many different perspectives and vantage points are woven seamlessly that no matter what their personal relationship to the word ‘grandmother’ is, readers will find much to make them laugh out loud—and also to break their hearts.” (Christian Science Monitor)
“Insightful and candid, sometimes painfully so. . . . Women who have achieved grandmotherly status will appreciate this engaging, honest volume of essays by 26 writers who articulate shared emotions about their grandchildren.” (Publishers Weekly)
“In illuminating, unsentimental essays, 27 writers offer up insights on the tricky art of grandmothering.” (People)
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Top Customer Reviews
EYE OF MY HEART is a book of essays written by grandmothers, about being a grandmother. All kinds of grandmothers are represented here, and so many of the essays touched me.
Though the stories are all different, there are a lot of common themes. One is how, as a grandparent, it is very difficult to love someone - your grandchild - so much, and yet have so little control over how much you see that person, or what their life is like. Barbara Graham, the editor of this collection, wrote about her son's family moving away to Paris, and the injustice of it all almost made me cry. Also, two of the essays were published anonymously, and these especially brought issue of lack of control home for me. One is written by a woman whose son's girlfriend refuses to practice birth control and so they have baby after baby while trying to live on welfare yet somehow buy brand new TVs. Another was written by a woman whose granddaughter - to whom her access is restricted by her daughter-in-law's wishes - attempts suicide.
Another repeated thought how much less perfection is expected of oneself as a grandparent as opposed to being a parent. This quote from Beverly Donofrio's essay (despite the God business) sort of rocked my world: "I lay down, too, listening to my grandson's breathing, thinking about God and humility. I was not perfect; it was arrogant and self-centered to think I should be. I thought about how God loves me just the way I am - so maybe I should, too? It's my own self-judgement that gets in the way." I have always been a perfectionist, and I suspect that would make any attempt I made at motherhood far more difficult than it needed to be.Read more ›
After finishing the book, I felt as if 27 new friends had just bared their souls to me, each giving deep thought to their role as a grandmother. I scrawled marks and notes on almost every page as I reacted to the familiar emotions that these articulate writers shared about becoming grandmothers: their role models, their relationships with the parents of their grandchildren, and what they hoped to pass on to their grandchildren. They explored and examined their deepest feelings about the bond they have with their grandchildren, and boldly wrote about aging.
Some were laugh-out-loud stories, like Judith Viorst's on competing with the other grandma and Judith Guest's hilarious road trip with her three granddaughters. Some were heartbreaking: Sallie Tisdale wrote a sad tale of too many grandchildren in a broken family and Marcie Fitzgerald (a pseudonym) is now her grandson's parent because her bipolar daughter is unable to care for him. Others were sweet and touching: At sixty Virginia Ironside finally gave up her search for Mr. Right and discovered what she truly wanted: to be a granny. Letty Cottin Pogrebin wrote of her obsession with creating lifelong memories for her six grandchildren because she has so few memories of her own.
These are fascinating, entertaining, revealing and boldly told tales from the 'hood - grandmotherhood.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my go to gift for grandmothers to be. I read it when my daughters were expecting and loved it.Published 2 months ago by Cheryl Joslyn
Honest, funny, poignant, heartfelt and varied. A thoroughly enjoyable read - a great gift for a new grandparent!Published 4 months ago by margaret Lindner
This is one of my all-time favorite books, and I give it to all my friends who are new grammas. The stories vary from heart-rending, to delight-filled, to thought-provoking. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Linda M. Weinberger
I was looking for a book about being a grandmother since this is a new experience . The book is not about techniques or how to take care a grandchild. It is about feelings. Read morePublished 9 months ago by nadir lima
I like this book, if you are a grandma or know someone who is it would be a great gift.Published 11 months ago by tammy warren
I enjoyed reading stories from women whose experience was just like mine.Published 11 months ago by Ms Desert Rat