My Mother's Daughter: A Memoir Hardcover – Sep 11 2007
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“My Mother’s Daughter is a wonderfully honest and enthralling book.”
— Alice Munro
“…a searingly honest accounting that makes for a most compelling read….In My Mother’s Daughter, Rona Maynard shows a substantive talent, using elegant, evocative and disciplined prose, surpassing her mother’s prosaic and pragmatic style.” – Toronto Star
“Maynard hasn’t written this memoir from behind the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. Every character who makes an appearance in her memoir is a fully sketched human, the flaws no less visible than the positive attributes. She doesn’t shy away from portraying honest family difficulties…. Maynard writes honestly and unselfconsciously, without coming off as malicious. No, the people in her life are not perfect, but My Mother’s Daughter stands as a firm testament to the fact that they were still valued, and deservedly so.” — Quill & Quire
“My Mother’s Daughter is a searingly honest, often indignant look at life with high-powered parents and at the rivalries, resentments and deeply felt bonds of the mother-daughter relationship….Maynard’s account of life as a satellite in her mother’s orbit, of family friction, frenzied hopes and hard-won accomplishment is laced with both satisfaction and leftover vexation.” — London Free Press
“My Mother’s Daughter is a beautifully told story…” — Globe and Mail
“My Mother’s Daughter — part personal memoir, part family history — is the compelling story of [a] loving, abrasive, mother-daughter relationship….It’s also a mvoing tribute to the unswerving, often unnerving matriarchal passion that powered one family’s Canadian odyssey from shtetl to Bay Street in three vibrant generations.” — Globe and Mail
About the Author
Born in New Hampshire of Canadian parents, Rona Maynard went to the University of Toronto, where she met and married Paul Jones. A career in journalism, including a spell at Maclean’s, led in time to her becoming editor of Chatelaine in 1995, where she attracted a new generation of readers to the most enduringly successful magazine in Canada. A freelance writer since she left Chatelaine in 2004, she is also a professional lecturer who is much in demand. She lives in Toronto.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Rona writes with clarity and courage of her growing up in the shadow of a powerful mother, who came from a long line of "larger than life" matriarchs. Fredelle's frustration at having to live within the confines of the static world of a 1950's housewife, were compounded by a lack of an outlet for her immense intellectual gifts and her difficult marriage to a troubled, self-absorbed, erratic husband. Rona and her sister Joyce became the all encompassing focus of Fredelle's energy, pride and ambitions. This intense, competitive family provides the background to Rona's own struggles with her identity, self-acceptance and ultimate direction.
Rona's memoir is a bitter-sweet tribute to her exceptional mother and also a celebration of her own resilience and accomplishments.
More perceptive than judgmental, more intuitive than slavishly-chronological, the book navigates the shoals of every emerging adult. Through the course of its pages, we witness the chrysalis turn butterfly.
It is rare, in my experience, that a memoir delivers such extraordinary resonance, regardless of reader (or author) gender. Given the title, and the author's provenance, it would be expected that this book is, primarily, addressed to a female audience. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
This is a beautiful, an exquisite, book. It is hardly a surprise that Rona Maynard writes well. Nor is it a surprise that her insights are as powerful as they are poignant. But surprise there is: this book connects (nigh-on umbilically!) with every child who has struggled with personal identity whilst still genetically-governed by the Need for parental approval - and who hasn't? The glory of the book is that parental approval arrives at the precise moment of Self Awareness.
I bought my copy. Read it. And bought six more copies: one for my daughter; one for my mother-in-law; two for female friends; and two for male buddies who, like me, decline to be pigeon-holed.
All-in-all, the book lays out the proof of Proust's assertion that, "We do not receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness, which no one can make for us, which no one can spare us, for our wisdom is the point of view from which we come at last to regard the world."
Christmas is coming! Treat your friends!
Most recent customer reviews
Well written, good story. Very healing account of growing up the older daughter of very challenging and incredible parents. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kileh Friedman
This memoir of a mother's and daughter's relationship vividly recreates the complexity of the diverse feelings that make up the lives of a parent and offspring. Read morePublished on Oct. 30 2007 by Patricia Howard
I couldn't put Rona Maynard's book down. It resonated with me, not because my family is anything like Rona's, but because it got me thinking about all mothers and daughters. Read morePublished on Oct. 18 2007 by A reader named