LOST FATHERS: How Women Can Heal from Adolescent Father Loss

Laraine Herring, Author . Hazelden $12.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-59285-155-3

The premise of this grief recovery manual is that adolescent girls suffer more than boys from the loss of a father, because females, still regarded culturally as less valuable than men, need to feel secure in the affection of a male figure. While not wholly convincing, Herring's volume argues further that from ages 12 to 21, when children begin separating from their parents, girls who lack a father can find this rite of passage more difficult or even impossible to accomplish. Herring, a creative writer (Monsoons ) and certified grief recovery specialist, lost her own father to heart disease when she was 19, and she devotes a great deal of text (occasionally too much) to recounting her own experience, although she also cites some clinical research and other people's personal histories. Adopting the increasingly popular notion that "we are storytelling creatures," she suggests a variety of exercises in recording and examining one's "storyline" for those who, even many years later, haven't healed from bereavement or separation (with specific focuses on loss from parents' divorce, abandonment or incarceration) and are feeling its impact on their relationships. Herring's tone is sober but soothing, and her book may aid women having trouble resolving their grief. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/21/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
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