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What My Mother Gave Me

This book gave me a format for much thought on living in the moment with my Mom in her final years I highly recommend reading this book. I'll be reading it again. Apr 22, Iva rated it liked it. Some of these mostly short essays feel dashed off, as if the author were finishing a dreaded assignment. Others, like Sheila Kohler, wrote prose as tight and interesting as her best fiction. Some took the topic literally, writing about a piece of furniture, jewellery or clothing.

Joyce Carol Oates wrote about knitted item she called a quilt that didn't reveal anything about her mother. Others saw the opportunity to reflect on examples of how to behave, live or work. A mixed bag with some memor Some of these mostly short essays feel dashed off, as if the author were finishing a dreaded assignment. A mixed bag with some memorable pieces. Jun 08, Kathleen Brunnett rated it really liked it. Very cool idea to tap into noted female writers on what their mothers gave them.

For some, it was a physical object, but for others it was an emotion or attitude or opportunity. I wish the background of these 31 writers was shared either before their entry or directly after it.

Review of What My Mother Gave Me () — Foreword Reviews

Instead the information was listed at the back of the book in alphabetical order. Knowing their background up front would have made me appreciate or understand their story even more. Apr 28, Jennifer King rated it it was amazing. These stories are told in each author's unique voice with a touching point about gifts their mothers gave them. But the stories as a whole are cohesive and flow seamlessly from one to the next. I think this would be a fantastic gift for all mothers, especially on Mother's Day. May 15, Elizabeth Evans rated it it was amazing. I didn't review the whole book, but I talked about one of the writers, Lillian Daniel, on my blog.

I knew her mother and wrote about my memories of her -- at http: Sep 16, Caitlin rated it it was amazing. What My Mother Gave Me completely blew off all my windows and doors. It's that the voices of the writers who contributed to its pages made me think about the many and varied ways there are to be a woman. All of these writers, and certainly their many mothers, have lived rich and fascinating lives.

Whether I felt kinship with them over the things their mothers gave them that mattered most or not, it was a privilege to get each woman's take on this most pivotal relationship and to catch glimpses of so many different kinds of women's lives. My urge to come back to this east coast beach town--a place my family and I went to for the first and last time a little over three years ago to mark the first anniversary of my mother's death--grew and grew as I read.

So, when the opportunity presented itself to dash off here for a couple of days, I jumped at the chance. My mother was never in this town or at this hotel that I know of, but we scattered my father's, my brother's, and, finally, her own ashes in the sea as each of them died because that way, by her reckoning, "whenever you're near the water, you're close to the person who died. As with so many other things, though, she was right. My mother gave me lots of things and ideas that matter more than I ever would have guessed they would at the times she gave them, but that one may be the one that matters most.

That, and knowing to always go to a fancy hotel by the sea when you want to, even if you can't really afford it and common wisdom would say that you shouldn't. View all 3 comments. Apr 10, Changerous rated it it was amazing. The gifts are wide-ranging in scope, from the most prosaic nail polish to the exceptional the gift of writing. Their impact is deep and lovely, often unexpected for the receiver, and for the reader. This is not a sentimental read: Yet all have taken something positive and lasting from their gifts and experiences, and many of the stories reveal legacies of fortitude and love.

These stories naturally made me think about the gifts my mother has given me over the years, and what I will be passing along to my children in turn, as gifts and as life lessons.


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It will be a gift they can enjoy now and in the future, that celebrates the value and influence of their daily lives and actions, intended or otherwise. Brilliant Memoir of life-changing moments from a range of authors. I received this book free from AlgonquinPublishers as part of the LibraryThings Early reviewers program. Jan 22, Vikki rated it it was amazing Shelves: In my eyes, it could not have been better. This book had many gifts for me, the reader.

Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most

First, this was just such a good read. The authors were pretty established, great authors. So the writing styles were so enjoyable. And they really let me see a little bit about their personal lives, which I loved. I learned so many little things in this book like to grate the onions before the potatos in latkes, that Lisa See's m I had to give What My Mother Gave Me five stars because I enjoyed it so much.

What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most

I learned so many little things in this book like to grate the onions before the potatos in latkes, that Lisa See's mother Carolyn's advice for writers to write 1, words a day plus a charming note. Secondly, in the list of contributors there was biographies of the authors. If I liked their essay, I will go find their other novels, short stories etc. I really liked every essay so will be going to many of these author's other works. Thirdly, this book makes me think about the gifts given to me by my mother. I would have to think a long time on this one.

To choose one gift to write about in a book would be extremely difficult. I could do the Top Ten given enough time.

What immediately came to mind was any inherited object- like my papertowel holder that was my mothers. I love being able to touch something every day that my mother touched. But also any recipe that is in my mother's hand is a treasured object. But probably more importantly is the love of color, decorating, and fashion that my mother gave to me.

This book is not scheduled to be released until April, I hope many people read it and enjoy it as much as I did. What a treat it was! Mar 27, Jenni V. I would like to thank NetGalley and Algonquin Books for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. The expected publication date for this book is April 2, First, a little backstory. I've spent the past week packing up my childhood home thankfully, this transition was due to downsizing and not death , giving my mom and I many opportunities to talk about the items she saved and the stories behind them.

These conversations in turn inspired me http: These conversations in turn inspired me to come home and share stories and long-forgotten treasures with my kids. Needless to say, when I saw this book on NetGalley, I felt as if it had been written for me. It would be impossible not to read a book like this without considering the legacy your mother left you, or the legacy you are leaving your children, so I settled in to read this book and feel the feelings I anticipated would soon follow. As with all books that have more than one contributor, there will be some hits and misses.

In this case, the majority of the stories were average, one or two truly shone, and none were complete misses. Some may say my expectations were too high, but I disagree. The state of mind I was in while reading this book could not have placed me more squarely in the target audience - I was primed to be inspired and possibly shed a tear, and I just wasn't moved. It was only partly that I didn't know where to find a replacement for this embroidered wool scarf whose label said "Made in India.

The intensity of my feelings about the scarf surprised me, because I had felt so distant from my mother for most of my life. But because she was kind, loving, and needy, my feelings for her were layered with guilt, and the guilt so thick it sometimes felt like torment. After she died, I just felt sad and intensely aware of the scarf, which I wear around the collar of my coat all winter long, every year. I lived silently with this welter of feelings year after year.

I didn't know whom to talk to about it, or what to say; the scarf was attached to a free-floating, inchoate grief. Or was it something other than grief? For years, the feelings were beyond any words that I could summon. In , my brooding gave way to curiosity, and I began to wonder about the experience of other women. If this one gift meant so much to me, if it unlocked the door to so much history and such complicated feelings, might other women have such a gift themselves? What My Mother Gave Me is the affirmative answer that question.

Each of the contributors describes a gift from her mother -- three-dimensional, experiential, a work habit, a habit of being, a way of seeing the world -- that magically, movingly reveals the story of her mother and of their relationship.

What My Mother Gave Me Thirty one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most