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Mothers and Daughters: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 29, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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“Wonderful...A perfect book-club pick…What mothers leave daughters is loud and proud in this book…It will prime conversations about your own choices, which may change your whole sense of self, or at least make you feel not so alone.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A poignant look at three generations struggling with loss and love." —Good Housekeeping
"Tender...perceptive...Mothers and Daughters should appeal to both of its titular groups, and may even spark the kinds of discussions and openness so uncharacteristic of many earlier parent-child relationships."—The Capital Times
“Mothers and Daughters showcases Meadow’s ability to create generations of fully formed women as they navigate life-defining moments…This is the story of how much we often don’t know about the people who raise us.” –Bookslut.com
"Rae Meadows has written a richly textured novel of three generations of mothers and daughters who by finding each other, find themselves. In these beautifully interwoven stories of birth and death, love and loss, Violet, Iris, and Samantha explore the genetic threads that connect each to the others. Mothers and Daughters is a powerful novel of women’s secrets and strength."— Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow
"A little girl boards New York’s orphan train at the turn of the 20th century and shapes generations to follow in this satisfying portrait of the many faces of motherhood."—Kirkus
"A book you’ll want to sit and read straight through...It will have you considering your own choices and those of your mother: What has she chosen not to tell you? What happened before you? What do you want to know?"—Bookpage
"An engaging story of three generations of strong women and the choices they make."—Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
I should not have been amazed, being both a daughter and a mother, at how intricately our lives are woven and similar to our parents' even when we don't know the whole story of their lives, but Measows still surprised me with her connections. So much of what Meadows wrote about was in my life, and I imagine in all our lives.
As the author/character states - there is "a sense of rightness in [the] simple continuum" of lives shared.
Also, there are not many stories reflecting the events of the children who were sent out of New York on the orphan trains, and I found myself holding my breath to see what would happen to Violet - would the girl we knew as Iris be a child of love or violence? The unfolding story was sometimes wonderfully frightening and joyful - and very satisfying in the end.
Altogether a very well written and well constructed story that readers will not want to put down.
Rae Meadows centers Mothers and Daughters around one such train and the little girl whose mother placed her on it out of desperation. Eleven-year-old Violet would ride her orphan train all the way from New York City to Minnesota, enduring stops along the way where the babies and younger children were snatched up eagerly by families wanting a child. The older, less desirable, children like her often rode the train to the end of the line where they were offered work rather than a new family. This would be Violet's fate.
Mothers and Daughters is the story of three generations of women, a short line beginning with Violet and ending with her granddaughter, Samantha. In the present, Sam's 72-year-old mother, Iris, is dying and has asked Sam to be with her until it happens. Sam is pregnant with a daughter of her own, but Iris will not live long enough to meet her. Back home after her mother's death, Sam is surprised to receive a box of her mother's things that appears to have been unopened for decades. Among the papers in the box is a little bible dated 1910 - and inscribed by the New York Children's Aid Society.Read more ›
Sam is a new mother who is having a hard time adjusting to life with a daughter of her own. She is afraid to leave Ella with anyone else and has been unable to get back to her career as a potter after nearly a year. Her relationship with her husband has changed as well..." Since the baby, it seemed her feelings toward him required moment-to moment readjustment."
Sam's mother Iris died just before Ella was born. A box containing mementos of Iris's life ends up on Sam's doorstep. As she goes through the box, she discovers things she never learned about her mother while she was alive. And her grandmother Violet as well.
Meadows explores the mother/daughter dynamic between each of the women. Each women's past influences how she mothers her own daughter. The daughters really don't know their mothers intimately. The story of each of the women is told in revolving chapters.
I became so invested in the story of Violet and her mother Lilibeth. Violet ended up on an Orphan Train, sent from New York City to the arms of a 'suitable' home. I was fascinated by her story and found myself wanting more than was written. Without giving away the storyline, Iris's life saddened me. Parts of her tale moved me to tears. I found Sam a bit hard to like in the beginning - she seemed somewhat self indulgent, but I came to appreciate her by the end of the book.
I quite enjoyed discovering who each woman was, how her life was shaped and how that in turn influenced the next generation. A thoughtful book that might make you take a second look at the relationship you have with your own mother.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was such a pointless novel which never really answers some important questions, make any solid connections among the three generation of women nor does it offer any closure... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dollycat
Quick and easy read. I was interested from start to finish, then recommended it to my mother!Published 17 months ago by Laurel Widdekind
In mothers & daughters, Rae Meadow's tells a story of 3, (with bits and pieces of 5), generations of females. I liked the way she used multiple voices to interweave the story. Read morePublished on June 17, 2013 by Debra L. Mauldin
I loved this story. It is well written and explores a part of history (Mercy trains) that I didn't know about. However, I read this book when it was called "Mercy Train". Read morePublished on August 27, 2012 by Astrid
Mothers and Daughters by Rae Meadows is a well written novel about three main characters, Samantha, Iris and Violet. Read morePublished on March 28, 2012 by Words Before Sleep
The premise of the book---three women who are "mothers and daughters" was a good one. It was difficult for me to follow the storyline when the author moved back and forth into... Read morePublished on March 1, 2012 by Silverreader
This book had no point. It was stories of three women loosely connected as mothers and daughters. It was pathetic that Iris was never honest with her daughter nor told her how... Read morePublished on December 26, 2011 by Susan
I picked this up on the strength of The Orphan Train story, but there was nothing new. I'd like to see have seen Violet fleshed out as an adult. Read morePublished on September 8, 2011 by POV