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Without My Mother: A Daughter's Search for the Mother Who Abandoned Her Paperback – May 7 2019

3.7 3.7 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

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From the Back Cover

How do you forgive a parent who has failed you?

One summer, Melissa Cistaro’s mother stepped into her baby-blue Dodge Dart and drove away, leaving behind Melissa and her brothers. Rarely seeing their mother as they were growing up, they blamed themselves for her leaving, turning to each other for support and seeking out often destructive ways to cope with living without their mom.

Decades later, with children of her own, Melissa finds herself in Olympia, Washington, as her mother is dying. She has just days to find out what happened that summer and to confront the unthinkable fear that a “leaving gene” might be lying dormant inside of her. She knew she came from a long line of mothers who left their children. But when Melissa stumbles across a folder marked “Letters Never Sent” tucked away in her mother’s filing cabinet, she begins to feel the wreckage of her mother’s painful journey, both before and after she abandoned her family.

Alternating between Melissa’s tumultuous coming-of-age and her mother’s final days, Without My Mother is a haunting yet ultimately uplifting story of one woman’s quest to discover how our parents’ choices impact our own and how we can survive those choices to forge our own paths.

About the Author

Melissa Cistaro’s stories have appeared in The New Ohio Review, Brevity, The Huffington Post, PBS: To the Contrary, Good Housekeeping and the anthologies Love and Profanity and Cherished. She worked as a bookseller and an event coordinator at Book Passage, the esteemed independent bookstore in Northern California, where she introduced hundreds of authors. She lives in San Rafael, California, with her family—and lots of books.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Collins (May 7 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1443458716
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1443458719
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 363 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.24 x 2.03 x 22.86 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.7 3.7 out of 5 stars 15 ratings

About the author

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Melissa Cistaro’s stories have been published in numerous literary journals, including the New Ohio Review,, and Brevity as well as the anthologies CHERISHED and LOVE and PROFANITY. She works as a bookseller and event coordinator at Book Passage, the esteemed independent bookstore in Northern California. Melissa graduated with honors from UCLA and followed her literary pursuits through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and the Tin House Writer’s Workshop in Portland. Between the years of raising her children, writing, bookselling, teaching horseback riding, and curating a business in equestrian antiques – Melissa completed her first memoir. Pieces of My Mother will be released on May 5th 2015.

Customer reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5
15 global ratings

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