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Diary of a Stage Mother s Daughter

Author: Melissa Francis
Publisher: Hachette UK
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The Glass Castle meets The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in this dazzlingly honest and provocative family memoir by former child actress and current Fox Business Network anchor Melissa Francis. When Melissa Francis was eight years old, she won the role of lifetime: playing Cassandra Cooper Ingalls, the little girl who was adopted with her brother (played by young Jason Bateman) by the Ingalls family on the world's most famous primetime soap opera, Little House on the Prairie. Despite her age, she was already a veteran actress, living a charmed life, moving from one Hollywood set to the next. But behind the scenes, her success was fueled by the pride, pressure, and sometimes grinding cruelty of her stage mother, as fame and a mother's ambition pushed her older sister deeper into the shadows. Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter is a fascinating account of life as a child star in the 1980's, and also a startling tale of a family under the care of a highly neurotic, dangerously competitive "tiger mother." But perhaps most importantly, now that Melissa has two sons of her own, it's a meditation on motherhood, and the value of pushing your children: how hard should you push a child to succeed, and at what point does your help turn into harm?


Her Mother s Daughter

Author: Linda Carroll
Publisher: Broadway Books
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The biological daughter of writer Paula Fox and mother of rock singer Courtney Love describes growing up as an adoptee, her search for her birth mother, and her relationship with her own troubled daughter.


The Good Daughter

Author: Jasmin Darznik
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
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We were a world of two, my mother and I, until I started turning into an American girl. That's when she began telling me about The Good Daughter. It became a taunt, a warning, an omen. Jasmin Darznik came to America from Iran when she was only three years old, and she grew up knowing very little about her family's history. When she was in her early twenties, on a day shortly following her father's death, Jasmin was helping her mother move; a photograph fell from a stack of old letters. The girl pictured was her mother. She was wearing a wedding veil, and at her side stood a man whom Jasmin had never seen before. At first, Jasmin's mother, Lili, refused to speak about the photograph, and Jasmin returned to her own home frustrated and confused. But a few months later, she received from her mother the first of ten cassette tapes that would bring to light the wrenching hidden story of her family's true origins in Iran: Lili's marriage at thirteen, her troubled history of abuse and neglect, and a daughter she was forced to abandon in order to escape that life. The final tape revealed that Jasmin's sister, Sara - The Good Daughter - was still living in Iran. In this sweeping, poignant, and beautifully written memoir, Jasmin weaves the stories of three generations of Iranian women into a unique tale of one family's struggle for freedom and understanding. The result is an enchanting and unforgettable story of secrets, betrayal, and the unbreakable mother-daughter bond.


Dirty Secret

Author: Jessie Sholl
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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A fascinating look at compulsive hoarding by a woman whose mother suffers from the disease. To be the child of a compulsive hoarder is to live in a permanent state of unease. Because if my mother is one of those crazy junk-house people, then what does that make me? When her divorced mother was diagnosed with cancer, New York City writer Jessie Sholl returned to her hometown of Minneapolis to help her prepare for her upcoming surgery and get her affairs in order. While a daunting task for any adult dealing with an aging parent, it’s compounded for Sholl by one lifelong, complex, and confounding truth: her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Dirty Secret is a daughter’s powerful memoir of confronting her mother’s disorder, of searching for the normalcy that was never hers as a child, and, finally, cleaning out the clutter of her mother’s home in the hopes of salvaging the true heart of their relationship—before it’s too late. Growing up, young Jessie knew her mother wasn’t like other mothers: chronically disorganized, she might forgo picking Jessie up from kindergarten to spend the afternoon thrift store shopping. Now, tracing the downward spiral in her mother’s hoarding behavior to the death of a long-time boyfriend, she bravely wades into a pathological sea of stuff: broken appliances, moldy cowboy boots, twenty identical pairs of graying bargain-bin sneakers, abandoned arts and crafts, newspapers, magazines, a dresser drawer crammed with discarded eyeglasses, shovelfuls of junk mail . . . the things that become a hoarder’s “treasures.” With candor, wit, and not a drop of sentimentality, Jessie Sholl explores the many personal and psychological ramifications of hoarding while telling an unforgettable mother-daughter tale.


My Mother s Keeper

Author: Tara E. Holley
Publisher: William Morrow
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The daughter of a woman diagnosed with schizophrenia recounts a childhood with a mentally ill mother, her efforts to rescue her mother from the streets, and her own drive to come to terms with the legacy of mental illness.


Becoming My Mother s Daughter

Author: Erika Gottlieb
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press
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Becoming My Mother’s Daughter: A Story of Survival and Renewal tells the story of three generations of a Jewish Hungarian family whose fate has been inextricably bound up with the turbulent history of Europe, from the First World War through the Holocaust and the communist takeover after World War II, to the family’s dramatic escape and emmigration to Canada. The emotional centre and narrative voice of the story belong to Eva, an artist, dreamer, and writer trying to work through her complex and deep relationship with her mother, whose portrait she cannot paint until she completes her journey through memory. The core of the book is Eva’s riveting recollection of the last months of World War II in Budapest, seen through a child’s eyes, and is reminiscent in its power of scenes in Joy Kogawa’s Obasan. Exploring the bond between generations of mothers and daughters, the book illustrates the struggle between the need for independence and the search for continuity, the significant impact of childhood on adult life, the reshaping of personality in immigration, the importance of dreams in making us face reality, and the redemptive power of memory. Illustrations by the author throughout the book, some in colour, enhance the story.


Afraid of the Day

Author: Nancy Graham
Publisher: Canadian Scholars’ Press
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Written from the vantage point of a daughter who bears witness to her mother's recurring bouts of clinical depression, this memoir makes a poignant pull at the heart and sticks to the bones. In words that have long dwelled in silence, Nancy Graham recounts her mother's roller coaster journey into the deep dark hell of the disorder, and what it was like to be forced along for the ride.The experience of depression is not an uncommon one, and the emotional and psychological havoc it wreaks upon all members of a family is frequently underestimated. Graham unravels and re-winds the tattered threads of the lives insidiously tangled when mental illness shadows a family. She writes with honesty and compassion, creating a large, clear canvas of family, society, and the medical tumbleweed that mishandled her mother's frequent forays into the unforgiving abyss of a major depressive disorder. Graham's book is about transcendence, creativity, and the complexities of mother-daughter love when the maternal bond is so intangibly severed. It is also about sexual coming of age and discovery. Mostly, it is about salvaging love and the triumph of the Spirit and the will of a girl, moving through childhood and puberty to adulthood, walking a ground that she defines with each step, and the bittersweet legacy of it all.


My Mother My Mirror

Author: Laura Arens Fuerstein
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
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Explores how mothers can unwittingly pass their own self-esteem and body image issues to their daughters, and includes advice on how to overcome these negative messages.


Mother Daughter Me

Author: Katie Hafner
Publisher: Random House
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The complex, deeply binding relationship between mothers and daughters is brought vividly to life in Katie Hafner’s remarkable memoir, an exploration of the year she and her mother, Helen, spent working through, and triumphing over, a lifetime of unresolved emotions. Dreaming of a “year in Provence” with her mother, Katie urges Helen to move to San Francisco to live with her and Zoë, Katie’s teenage daughter. Katie and Zoë had become a mother-daughter team, strong enough, Katie thought, to absorb the arrival of a seventy-seven-year-old woman set in her ways. Filled with fairy-tale hope that she and her mother would become friends, and that Helen would grow close to her exceptional granddaughter, Katie embarked on an experiment in intergenerational living that she would soon discover was filled with land mines: memories of her parents’ painful divorce, of her mother’s drinking, of dislocating moves back and forth across the country, and of Katie’s own widowhood and bumpy recovery. Helen, for her part, was also holding difficult issues at bay. How these three women from such different generations learn to navigate their challenging, turbulent, and ultimately healing journey together makes for riveting reading. By turns heartbreaking and funny—and always insightful—Katie Hafner’s brave and loving book answers questions about the universal truths of family that are central to the lives of so many. Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Praise for Mother Daughter Me “The most raw, honest and engaging memoir I’ve read in a long time.”—KJ Dell’Antonia, The New York Times “A brilliant, funny, poignant, and wrenching story of three generations under one roof, unlike anything I have ever read.”—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone “Weaving past with present, anecdote with analysis, [Katie] Hafner’s riveting account of multigenerational living and mother-daughter frictions, of love and forgiveness, is devoid of self-pity and unafraid of self-blame. . . . [Hafner is] a bright—and appealing—heroine.”—Cathi Hanauer, Elle “[A] frank and searching account . . . Currents of grief, guilt, longing and forgiveness flow through the compelling narrative.”—Steven Winn, San Francisco Chronicle “A touching saga that shines . . . We see how years-old unresolved emotions manifest.”—Lindsay Deutsch, USA Today “[Hafner’s] memoir shines a light on nurturing deficits repeated through generations and will lead many readers to relive their own struggles with forgiveness.”—Erica Jong, People “An unusually graceful story, one that balances honesty and tact . . . Hafner narrates the events so adeptly that they feel enlightening.”—Harper’s “Heartbreakingly honest, yet not without hope and flashes of wry humor.”—Kirkus Reviews “[An] emotionally raw memoir examining the delicate, inevitable shift from dependence to independence and back again.”—O: The Oprah Magazine (Ten Titles to Pick Up Now) “Scrap any romantic ideas about what goes on when a 40-something woman invites her mother to live with her and her teenage daughter for a year. As Hafner hilariously and touchingly tells it, being the center of a family sandwich is, well, complicated.”—Parade


Be Still

Author: Tina West
Publisher: WestBow Press
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Tina West knows firsthand that if one struggles with negative experiences in life, there’s hope to be found in Christ. In 1967, at the beginning of her sixth-grade year, West’s stepfather shot her mother to death. Be Still shares West’s story and how she relied on Christ through it all to change her family tree forever. In Be Still, a memoir by Tina West and her daughter Lyndie Metz, West offers her sincere reflections on growing up motherless and the role her faith played during these difficult times. Metz discusses the effects these experiences had on her as a daughter and how she’s looked to her mother as an example in how God uses each of us to bring hope, encouragement, and love into the lives of others. Sharing motherhood from both sides, this open and honest memoir and spiritual guidebook communicates there is hope for those suffering from the ups and downs of life. Tina West has endured unspeakable tragedy, yet not only speaks of it, but unpacks how through it all, she remains anchored and comforted by Jesus. Her compelling memoir is more than a story, but a mission to help others not only survive, but thrive. Her daughter, Lyndie Metz, details how her mother’s unwavering faith impacts her own life. Grab a comfortable seat. You’re unlikely to put this book down. —Donna Cronk, Author of women’s Christian fiction