Day 20: 31 Days of Blogging Honesty





Day #20 Question: The book that I read that has altered my perception of life is…


This is the question that I’ve had to put the most thought into. I am a voracious reader. Since January 1st I have read 32 books on my Nook and at least 10-15 non-electronic books. I feel like every book I read leaves me with something: a thought, a feeling, a lesson, an inspiration, or an answer. It’s really difficult to choose one book that embodies every qualification required to be life altering, BUT, since I have to pick just one, I’m going to choose, Hope Edelman’s, Motherless Daughters.

I read this book way back in 1994 shortly after it was published. At the time I read it, I had been motherless for nearly a decade. I lost my mother, when I was a junior in college, to a horrific disease called scleroderma. Returning to school after her death was a study in awkwardness among my mothered classmates who were unsure of how to address my loss. For years, I was unsure of how to address it myself. Outwardly, I remained my friendly, smiling, bubbly, responsible self, but on the inside I felt like an island with no bridges. In my early twenties, no one in my group of friends was motherless. I was an oddity, an outsider, who no longer had the gentle, guiding presence of a mother in my life. I smiled with eager, envious, interest as I listened to their tales of shopping trips, meals, holidays, and other excursions with their mothers. Those were things that were mine no more, and at times I burned with silent resentment, especially if they would forget and complain to me about some ridiculous fault that their mother possessed. To me, even a flawed mother was better than no mother at all.

Then one day, while browsing in the bookstore, I ran across Hope Edelman’s book, Motherless Daughters. Even before I’d finished reading the blurb on the inner cover, I felt my eyes brimming with tears. I bought the book, holed myself up in my bedroom for the day, and read the whole thing cover-to-cover. Edelman got me. Absolutely everything that I’d felt in association with my mother’s death was written on the pages of her book. Alone in my apartment, I think I cried to the point of dehydration that day, but when I was done I felt more whole, more healed and more understood than I had in years. I no longer felt alone; Edelman’s book built the first of many bridges that would reach my desolate island.

**On a more cheerful note: I’m heading to the beach tonight!!! I’ll be bringing my computer to check my blog, as well as my subscriptions. I may write a post or two if I have time. I might even post some pictures! I hope all of my readers have a safe and fabulous Memorial Day weekend and a wonderful week!


12 thoughts on “Day 20: 31 Days of Blogging Honesty

  1. I would highly recommend it. She also has a book called Motherless Mothers which was super insightful, as well. I linked her website to the picture. She has several other books out, too. I’ll be interested in your thoughts as you read them.

  2. My comment was interrupted by a screaming toddler yesterday, else I would have added: holy guacamole, that’s a lot of reading! That’s pretty fabulous. I’m happy to have read about 15 books this year, up from 12 last. (There’s going to a bit of artificial inflation based on the fact a few of those were written entirely in verse. Heh.)

    I just added Motherless Daughters to my LibraryThing TBR list; I’ll add it to my next book request, for reading in probably about two weeks. I’m looking forward to it, although that’s obviously not my typical “looking forward to.”

    • It’s very cathartic, but it is emotionally difficult to read.
      I guess you’re heading back from CO today. We made it safely to the NC beach and have been relaxing. Whew, relaxing is certainly exhausting though!!

      I’m only able to get a bunch of reading done now because I’m not working and because my kids are grown. When I was in your situation my reading list was mostly children’s books, and not the kind that have chapters!

      I’m on chapter 21 in your book, and loving it. I actually just wrote a bunch more about it in this comment, but realized that it was a big old buch of spoilers for those who haven’t read it. I’ll email you about it later. I’m soooo sleepy!

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