Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Letter for My Mother

A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx (Editor)
Strebor Books: 4/8/2014
Trade Paperback, 240 pages
ISBN-13: 9781593095321

Thirty-three female writers share their essays and letters—hilarious, heart wrenching, and everything in between—in this wise and poignant collection about mother-daughter relationships.
Whether they’re from the US, Caribbean, India, or the UK, all of the contributors to A Letter for My Mother share one thing in common: thoughts that have been left unsaid to their mothers and mother figures—until now. In this moving book, thirty-three women reveal the stories, reflections, confessions, and revelations they’ve kept to themselves for years and have finally put into words. Written through tears and pain, as well as joy and laughter, each offering presents the mother-daughter bond in a different light.
Heartfelt and deeply meaningful, A Letter for My Mother will inspire you to admire and cherish that special relationship that shapes every woman.

My Thoughts:

A Letter for My Mother by Nina Foxx (Editor) is a very highly recommended collection of letters women have written to their mothers. I simply can't recommend this amazing collection enough.

In A Letter for My Mother Nina Foxx has collected letters from 33 daughters to their mothers. While the letters differ as vastly as the individuals who wrote them, they all have the common thread of things daughters have left unsaid to their mothers (or stepmother, or mother-in-law, or mother-like mentor)  The mother-daughter relationship is always complicated. It can be fraught with tension and difficulties or exuberant with love and support - and cover the gamut of every emotion in-between.

Foxx writes:
"I invited other women to write a letter to a mother in their lives, someone who guided them when they didn’t want to be guided and perhaps someone they’d never thanked. In the letter, they were to tell them what they wanted them to know. The recipient of the letter needn’t be alive or biologically related, just someone to whom they had things to say to but lacked courage or foresight to be able to say those things, a thank you."

Some of the authors invited to write a letter were unable to do so because their relationships to their mothers were still full of complications or unresolved issues.  Some of those who participated found that "Writing these letters, love letters to our mothers, forced us to let go of the anger that had hung around our necks for years and let it float away from us. We had to give the bad memories to the universe and embrace the good and how that had shaped us into adulthood." Before each letter the author explains some of the background regarding her relationship with her mother.

Some of the letters are heart-warming, loving tributes to mothers who sacrificed all they had to give to help their children. Some mothers died young, leaving their daughters to face different kinds of trials. Some mothers are neglectful, or hurtful, or cruel. Some lived their life as a testimony and in service to God as well as their family. Some are beautiful. Some are strong while others are weak. Some left their daughters knowing with absolute certainty that they are loved by their mother. Some forced their daughters into an early adulthood and responsibilities beyond their years. Some gave their daughter a strong set of values and self-confidence. Some loved and accepted their daughters just as they are, while others set their expectations so high no one could hope to reach them. Some are heart breaking and some are humorous. They are all unique.

The contents include:

Introduction Nina Foxx
A Letter to My Once Mother-in-Law Nina Foxx
Missing Mom Carmen Green
Mamaji Elisheba Haaq-Stevens
Marian of Memphis Pamela Walker-Williams
Family Matters Most Berta Platas
Taming The Beast Shia Shabazz Smith
There is a Time Gabrielle Cox
Gloria Gillian Hubbard
Just Enough Arlene L. Walker
Mother Envy Pamela Samuels Young
You’ll Never Be Doris Day Jelen Hunter
Dear Mable Lori Bryant-Woolridge
A Saint in Everyday Clothes Joanne C. Hillhouse
I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You Lynda Sandoval
A Mother Sent by Providence Pat G’Orge Walker
The Collector Sheila J. Williams
Playing Favorites Sofia Quintero
Once I Had a Mother Deepa Agarwal
Get Your Own Dungeon! And Other Francesisms That Used to Work My Last Nerve Tracy Price-Thompson
Mama Carol Taylor 151 Battling Love Dominique Jackson
What I Thank You For Pat Tucker
Naomi to Your Ruth Victoria Christopher Murray
The Epitome of a Woman ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Thank You Letter Trisha R. Thomas
Disappointing You Denise Nguyen
Let it Start with the Mothers Heather Rae
Reflections of You Donna Hill
No Mama Drama Danita Carter
My Mother’s Daughter Valerie Wilson Wesley
My First Heroine Tananarive Due
Couldn’t Have Asked for More Zane
A Golden Heart Charmaine R. Parker
Beyond the Corner of My Eye Nina Foxx


Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Strebor Books via Netgalley for review purposes.

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