Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell
W. W. Norton & Co.: 10/5/15
eBook review copy, 272 pages
Mothers, Tell Your Daughters by Bonnie Jo Campbell is a highly
recommended well written collection of 16 short stories featuring tough,
marginalized, deeply flawed working-class women who are in unbalanced
and unhealthy relationships. Most of these stories are heart breaking
and the characters acceptance of abuse is disturbing, albeit realistic.
Stories in the collection include:
Sleepover: Two teenage girls and their boyfriends
Playhouse: A young woman, who doesn't quite remember the previous
night, hurts her arm when helping her brother fix a playhouse for her
Tell Yourself: A mother worries about her daughter
The Greatest Show on Earth: What
There Was, 1982: Buckeye and Mike are in a relationship and in the circus.
My Dog Roscoe: Pregnant Sarah believes Roscoe, the stray dog she took in, is her deceased boyfriend Oscar.
Mothers, Tell Your Daughters: An inner monologue directed to the
daughter of a dying woman who has had a stroke and is unable to speak.
Is in Pain: a sister in pain "Stabbing pain sixty hours a week as she bathes and medicates and
tends to the needs and the pain of others for minimum wage,
throbbing pain when she has a day off..."
A Multitude of Sins: An abused wife is caring for her dying husband in their home.
To You, as a Woman: What a woman might have to do to survive.
Daughters of the
Animal Kingdom: A beleaguered woman biologists talks about her life.
Somewhere Warm: A woman wants to create a place of love for her family
My Bliss: things she married
Blood Work, 1999: A woman spends her life and inheritance giving to others.
Transylvania, 1983: A woman and her sisters take a bicycle trip in Romania.
Natural Disasters: A baby shower takes place during a tornado warning
The Fruit of the Pawpaw Tree: a hot summer on the farm where work never ends
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy
of W. W. Norton & Co for review