Saturday, May 9, 2009

Review: Because I Love Her - Happy Mother's Day

Editor: Andrea N. Richesin
Review Copy Provided by: Harlequin

About the Book (from the publisher): This profound and poignant collection highlights some of the best literary writers of our time in an era when the roles of mothers and daughters are constantly being questioned and redefined. Because I Love Her explores the deepest bonds and truths of motherhood by sharing stories and secrets of becoming a mother and grandmother. Ranging from established and bestselling authors to exciting new voices, these women reveal what their mothers taught them, what they in turn hope to impart to their daughters and, finally, what they've learned as a bridge between the two.

From the editor, in the introduction: "Because I Love Her explores the most intimate bonds of motherhood by sharing stories and secrets of becoming a mother and grandmother, negotiating generational differences, and learning form our mothers' past mistakes. These writers discover who their mothers truly are, forgive for past wrongs, and ultimately accept they are, indeed, their mothers' daughters."

My Review: How can I express how I feel about this book? 2 stories in, I cried. 34 women writers have spilled out their hearts in the pages of this book. The stories are all moving in their own way. Emotions will be stretched to the limit as you read through these stories. If they don't stir something in you, I'd be surprised. Each of these authors tells stories of what their mothers were like and how that has shaped the mothers they wanted to be or have become. They also tell stories of their own children and what it's like being a mother. I was so moved by each of their stories. They made me smile, cry, think of my mother, wish for a daughter, feel love, and remember what Mother's Day is all about. My favorie was Things to Remember Not to Forget by Katherine Center. She starts out with, "At our house, for our kids, who are two and five, everything is better with a big side order of Naked." Instant laughter! Should she record all the little moments, as her mom did, or be in the moment with her children? Her words, in the end, made me cry. Or what about Sheila Kohler's story about her daughter, born deaf, learned to talk and taught her parents to listen This is a book I will be passing on to my mother to read and one that I'll be recommending from now on.

Isn't that the sweetest picture? To me, holding a baby is one of the sweetest things in the world, whether they're your own, a member of your family, or the child of a friend. They are so innocent, so full of promise, so loving and so full of love. My mother experienced this, as did her mother, my great-grandmother, and most of the other women in my family. To experience the gift of life, the product of my husband and me, is something that I long for. Mother's Day makes me want it even more. I have two lovely step-daughters who have blessed us with 4 wonderful grandchildren, with another one to come in November, but to me, it's not the same. I want to feel that bond, to know what it's like to give birth, to look into those eyes and know that I am responsible for this wonderful human being. I feel the longing really strongly around Mother's Day. My husband and I may never have children of our own, and I've tried to come to terms with that, but for any of you who have been through the infertility treatments, the hope, and then the let-down, you understand. So today, I celebrate mothers, those who are, those who are expecting, and those who long to be. Each and every one of you should be celebrated, not just on Mother's Day, but everyday!

In honor of Mother's Day I posed the question to my Twitter followers: What is the best thing about being a mother?

Author of, soon-to-be-released, Prophecy of The Sisters, Michelle Zink said, "Watching them grow into individuals with their own insights and opinions!"

Susan Crites, author of the children's book I Love You More Than Rainbows, said, "Best thing about being a mom: am one to our dogs & an aunt to many - furry or not furry, sharing time with them."

Fantasy writer Nicole Zoltack had this to say, "A random smile. Nothing makes my heart melt more than a smile or a belly laugh or a squeal of delight from my little one!"

YA author and teen girl advocate, Deborah Rener said, "For me, the best thing about being a mother is that it helps me to more fully live in the present!"

Author Elizabeth Burton said, "Watching little people become big ones, who are even with high expectations turn out to be even more than you'd imagined."

Kami Garcia, author of the upcoming YA novel, Beautiful Creatures said, "Watching my kids develop talents and interests totally independent of me."

"To know what my mom felt like when she used to say to me: you will understand when you become a mother, why does it take so long :)," said blogger, Desert Rose.

What would you say is the best thing about being a mother? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

To all the moms out there, I leave you with this...


Beth F said...

Lovely post and thanks to everyone who shared your thoughts about motherhood.

Andrea N. Richesin said...


Thank you much for your touching review. I'm honored the anthology has spoken to you in this way. I've been deeply moved by the response we're getting from our readers. I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day!

All best,
Andrea N. Richesin

bermudaonion said...

Great post, Shelly! The book sounds like a real tear-jerker.

Unknown said...

Awesome review! I am going out and buying this book. I am a mother of a 10-year-old-girl and a daughter as well. I hope one day they will have it translated into Polish so my mom can read it and enjoy it. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Hooray! Thank you so much for this lovely review of Because I Love Her. I feel exactly the same way. It's an amazing collection about motherhood. And I'm so happy that you liked my essay! The Dallas Museum of Art performed it in March at their Texas Bound reading series, and I got to go with my mom and 2 sisters to see the show. It was amazing. Happy Mothers' Day to you, and thanks so much again!
(PS--I don't have an answer to your question about the best thing about motherhood. There are so many, I don't know how to choose. But I will be thinking on it this weekend and try to come up with a good answer!)

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

What a great post and review!
There are so many great things about being a mother (I say this as my children run around the house chasing each other!), but I'd have to say that the best thing about being a mother is seeing each of my boys growing up, and knowing that I played a part in the wonderful men they are going to grow up to be!

Michelle Zink said...

Aw, this was just great! It sounds like an amazing book, and I'm adding it to my TBR pile this minute.

It was also such fun to read all the insights of mothers like me from all over. It's easy to forget sometimes that we aren't alone. That we have sisters in all the joy, worry and awe that is motherhood.

What a nice reminder this was!

Happy Mothers Day to all!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your thoughts about motherhood and this book. Yes, I am so happy I was blessed with a daughter. My grandmother, mom and I are very close. And we (all four generations) were together this Mother's Day.

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