Memoirs of a Not So Dutiful Daughter
'I feel I'm beginning a love letter. I'm saying things I could not have expressed even a year ago because there was a barrier between us. It collapses today in hospital when I hold my mother's hand and stroke her hair, and she says. Do you love me? I've often wondered.' So begins Jenni Murray's memoir as she visits her desperately ill parent. She is not, she acknowledges, the only woman to have had a difficult relationship with her mother, yet family history and the times in which they lived seemed to militate against any chance of a true reconciliation between them. With the benefits of the Women's Movement behind her, and the chance to go to university and have a career, Jenni broke free from her mother's constraints, but never from her influence. Determined to go her own way, she has always felt a sense of guilt: she has been a not so dutiful daughter. And then, after she began her memoir, Jenni's life took a distinctly downward turn. Her mother and father died within six months of each other, and she found that she had breast cancer. This book is a diary of that terrible year - and an extraordinarily honest and confessional memoir of a universally complex relationship: that of an only daughter, her mother and her father.
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