Mothering Without a Map: The Search for the Good Mother Within

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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.”

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User Review  - alsocass - LibraryThing

The first half of the book left me wondering if there was actually any hope. The second half of the book showed there was lots of hope...and yet when I stopped to think, the second half of the book ... Read full review

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User Review  - Cecilturtle - LibraryThing

Black needed to write this book as a mother searching for a mother. I , on the other hand, did not have to read it (wanted to suggest it to a friend in need, searching for a nugget of useful ... Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Kathryn Black, a journalist for twenty years, is the author of In the Shadow of Polio, named by the Boston Globe as one of the ten best 1996 nonfiction works, winner of the Colorado Book Award for literary nonfiction, the June Roth Book Award for Health and Medical Writing, and a Denver Post bestseller. Black was named 1997 Author of the Year by the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

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