Daughters of Divorce by Terry Gaspard, Tracy Clifford
eBook review copy; 320 pages
Daughters of Divorce by Terry Gaspard, Tracy Clifford is a
recommended self-help book.
Written by a mother/daughter team who have both been daughters of
divorced parents, Daughters of Divorce is focused on
helping women who are from a family effected by divorce to overcome
their background and establish healthy, long-lasting relationships
"This book is about how you, a daughter of divorce, can learn to
overcome the legacy of divorce and move forward to enjoy rewarding
relationships built on love, trust, and intimacy. Each chapter
describes a central theme and skill that are essential to achieving
this, and includes practical steps to go about it. At the end of
each chapter, we include perspectives from both of us - mother and
daughter - on our own experiences with divorce and lessons we've
Even as a child, women are wired to have "a fairly precise,
three-dimensional, sensory snapshot of experiences such as family
disharmony or breakup." The authors want to reassure women that
there are steps they can take to change the family legacy in their own
lives. She is not broken just because her family is broken.
The authors present 7 steps to a Successful Relationship and show
women how to proceed through those steps. The steps include:
Step 1: Examine your parents' divorce from an adult perspective.
Step 2: Attempt to forgive others and move on from the past by
developing a forgiving mind-set.
Step 3: Examine your relationship with your father and attempt to
repair any father-daughter wounds.
Step 4: Improve your self-esteem.
Step 5: Build trust in your relationships.
Step 6: Practice being vulnerable with your partner in small steps.
Step 7: Make the commitment.
The authors encourage those reading the book to keep a journal to
document their thoughts. The book also includes questions for women
to answer for themselves and action steps they can take to encourage
their healing. The book includes recommendations for further reading
and a list of informational websites available. The book also
includes source notes and an index, tools I always look for in
While the concept of this book is certainly needed and should be
well received, it is not going to address all situations equally
since the circumstances surrounding the divorce and family
situations can widely vary. Daughters who have been abandoned by
their fathers after the divorce are going through some different
experiences. I found the following two quotes, from the same author,
actually better addressed the situation my daughter is experiencing
more than anything else in this book:
Author Victoria Secunda writes, "It is a tragic and unavoidable
reality that once a marriage ends, a great many fathers simply
vanish. "Surprisingly, this parental neglect isn't due to the
vindictiveness of ex-wives. In her research, Secunda found that very
few mothers deliberately withheld their daughters from their
fathers. She says, "In the end it was indifference and inertia
that kept these fathers from finding their daughters. And if the
reunion was to be effected, it was almost always the daughters who
did the legwork, broke through the silences."
Secunda explains, "My own research has led me to conclude that
divorced fathers who abandon their children, either wholly or in
part, share one primary characteristic: they don't appear to have
a paternal identity. Abandoning fathers are essentially immature,
stuck in the primary narcissism of early childhood, unable to feel
anyone's pain or joy but their own."
Disclosure: My Kindle edition was
courtesy of Sourcebooks for