cover image The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us

The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us

Patti Davis, . . Hay House, $14.95 (253pp) ISBN 978-1-4019-2162-0

“Sometime around the age of 40, most of us realize that our mothers live deep inside us,” proclaims novelist Davis (The Long Goodbye ) in this series of interviews with more than 20 well-known women of a certain generation—Melissa Gilbert, Candice Bergen, Anjelica Huston, Whoopi Goldberg and Cokie Roberts, to name a few—about their relationships with their mothers. Some of the mothers led careers as entertainers (like Liza Minnelli), activists and preachers, but many were wives, homemakers and divorcées. The result is a cross between reaffirming self-help book and candid women's narrative, with individual daughters' stories creating a kind of collective memoir. Readers may recognize traces of their own relationships with their mothers as these women recount histories of addiction, sickness and death, along with memories of friendship, strength and reconciliation. Davis interjects to offer uplifting, if boilerplate and unnecessary, interpretations of each woman's journey, but the voices of the daughters, now seasoned with age, contemplation and perspective, are reaffirming in their own right. (Apr.)