cover image Friends for Life

Friends for Life

Susan Jonas, Jonas. William Morrow & Company, $24 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-688-14673-3

Jonas and Nissenson, both writers and editors with grown daughters, have co-authored several other books (Going, Going, Gone: Vanishing Americana, et al.). They consulted with a clinical psychologist on interview methodology for this engrossing study of the relationship between mothers and daughters who were aged 21-35. Because the authors excluded from consideration those with more serious problems--the desperately poor, the alcohol- or drug-addicted, the anorexic, those with a physically abusive partner--they acknowledge that their sample ""is not statistically valid for scholarly purposes."" Yet the 100 interviews they conducted included mothers from a variety of backgrounds, professional and working class. Besides presenting the successes and failures of mothers who have tried various ways of communicating with their daughters about relationship and career choices, Jonas and Nissenson offer informed advice on how to change mom's unproductive nagging into a supportive conversation between two adults. The authors also offer useful strategies for overcoming misplaced guilt and accepting daughters' choices that may not fulfill a mother's dreams for her offspring. Author tour. (May)