Motherless Mothers: How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become (Hardcover)
When Hope Edelman finished writing Motherless Daughters, she thought she had said all she could about the long-term effects of early mother loss. Published in 1994, the book touched a nerve in women across the country and went on to become an enduring New York Times bestseller. Edelman, who was seventeen when her own mother died, told the collective story of mother loss with such candor, empathy, and informed wisdom that she quickly became a widely recognized expert on the topic.
But when she became a parent, she found herself revisiting her loss in ways she had never anticipated. Now the mother of two young girls, Edelman set out to learn how the loss of a mother to death or abandonment can affect the ways women raise their own children. From her exhaustive investigation, including a survey of more than one thousand women, comes Motherless Mothers, the enlightening and inspiring next step in the motherless journey.
Using her own story as a prism, Edelman reveals the unique anxieties and desires these mothers experience as they raise their children without the help of a living maternal guide. She examines their parenting choices, their unexpected triumphs, and their fears, from the initial decision to have a child, through pregnancy, the delivery room, and the child-rearing years. Identifying "Eight Themes of Motherless Mothers" that cut across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines, Edelman illuminates how the experience of loss directly impacts the ways in which these women parent their own children.
Enriched by the voices of the mothers themselves, as well as filled with practical insight and advice from experienced professionals, this impeccably researched and luminously written book offers motherless mothers the guidance and support they want and need.
About the Author
Hope Edelman has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master's degree in creative nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters and its companion volume, Letters from Motherless Daughters. She lives in Topanga Canyon, California, with her husband and their two daughters.
“A heartfelt and practical work.”
— Los Angeles Times
“A wonderful new book...it will help you and make you cry.”
— Jacquelyn Mitchard, Tribune Media Services
“Smart...Edelman maps the sorrow and longing felt by mothers who are motherless themselves. “
— The Oregonian
Fascinating...Edelman illuminates the transformative power of understanding mother loss [and] offers essential wisdom.
— Library Journal
“Offers hope...a cathartic book.”
— Toledo Blade
“An important book. One that will help so many people.”
— New York Newsday