Every woman’s most powerful maternal role model is her own mother. But what about women who grew up feeling “undermothered”—whose mothers were absent, distracted, emotionally distant, depressed, or fell short in some vital way? How are they to become the good mothers they aspire to be?
Kathryn Black, whose own mother’s early death inspired her award-winning book, In the Shadow of Polio, probed for answers from experts in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, developmental psychology and social work, biology and anthropology. Black asks: Why are some people able to transcend troubled childhoods and lead satisfying lives and others are not? Through the voices of ordinary women across the country, in all stages and ages of mothering, she learns that there are ways to become a good mother without having had one of one’s own. A beautifully articulate blend of memoir, research, and moving interviews with mothers and daughters, Mothering Without a Mapis a powerful and self-affirming book that shows how “wounded daughters” can indeed become “healing mothers.”