The Peaceful Daughter's Guide to Separating From a Difficult Mother

A book presents emboldening ideas to help readers deal with dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships.

From the volume’s start, Anderson (AFTER The Before & After, 2011) writes from a place of personal wisdom and resolved knowledge. Her detached objectivity rings clear throughout as she provides simple strategies that employ complex psychological exercises in practical ways. For example, she begins the work by describing a triangle of “victim consciousness”—victim, persecutor, rescuer. Many readers trapped in flawed mother-daughter relationships will likely recognize these roles. Anderson provides exercises to break from this pattern, including journaling and listing. The volume also suggests living through emotions rather than judging or pushing them away. Through this concept, the reader can explore which emotions arise from memories or interactions with a dysfunctional, often manipulative mother. And, by allowing the emotions to make their brief stay, the reader can become aware of ways to accept rather than reject the feelings. Yet perhaps one of the book’s most potent features is the way Anderson explains boundaries. They are not devices that will change the way others will treat a person, she explains, and perhaps that’s the most widely misunderstood idea about setting boundaries. Boundaries, she notes, are actually commitments to oneself and one’s own integrity. They are behavioral limits—meaning whether one reacts to certain things or responds to particular kinds of remarks. Anderson breaks down boundaries into two parts: requests and consequences. She explains that it is not a mother’s job to respect a daughter’s boundaries: it is the daughter’s duty to follow through and enforce the consequences she sets. The book is enlightening, clear, and concise and should be helpful to readers struggling with the helpless feelings of a manipulative relationship with a parent who seems impossible to sever from their lives without severe consequences. A later chapter discusses “mother” as a verb rather than a noun. Following the wisdom of author Martha Beck, Anderson asserts that readers are being mothered whenever they are accepted, nourished, instructed, or empowered. Once they detach the idea of motherhood from a particular person, she explains, they are free to receive it from all around—including from themselves. This is perhaps one of the most enlightening moments in the book, and readers will likely gain lasting insights from this poignant, stirring read. This short, forceful work about mother-daughter dynamics gives clear pathways to relief and empowerment.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-942646-85-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Difference Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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