Title: Letter to My Daughter
Author: George Bishop
Review Copy Provided by: Ballantine Books for a Pump Up Your Book Promotions blog tour
About the Book: Dear Elizabeth,
It's early morning and I'm sitting here wondering where you are, hoping you're all right.
A fight, ended by a slap, sends Elizabeth out the door of her Baton Rouge home on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her mother, Laura, is left to fret and worry--and remember. Wracked with guilt as she awaits Liz's return, Laura begins a letter to her daughter, hoping to convey everything I've always meant to tell you but never have.
In her painfully candid confession, Laura shares memories of her own troubled adolescence in rural Louisiana, growing up in an intensely conservative household. She recounts her relationship with a boy she loved despite her parents' disapproval, the fateful events that led to her being sent away to a strict Catholic boarding school, the personal tragedy brought upon her by the Vietnam War, and, finally, the meaning of the enigmatic tattoo below her right hip.
My Review: It's been a while since I've read a short story. This is one I'll read again, pass on to my friends to read and recommend to others.
What's surprising about this little book, is that it's the story of a mother and daughter, written by a man! Yes, a man, and he does it very well. It also has a different format than your normal short story or novel. This story is written in the form of a letter from the mother to the daughter after the daughter leaves. To me, someone who conveys her thoughts better in writing, this mother was a character I could relate to. I don't have any children, but would like to think that when I do, I could tell her important things in this way. I really like the way Bishop chose to write this story.
The mother tells her daughter about her life as a teenager, and in doing so, comes to realize that she (mother) had some of the same feelings that her daughter has now. Which may be part of the reason for her leaving. Teenagers don't think that their parents understand, but what's funny is that the parent usually went through a similar situation with many of the same feelings. It takes us growing up to realize that though. George Bishop has crafted a great story about mother/daughter relationships that many will be able to relate to.