A Berkeley psychotherapist urges women to explore their deepest connections with their mothers, daughters, and female ancestors to arrive at a full and productive sense of self--and, as inspiration, offers a captivating account of her own search for her female roots.
Absent, for the most part, from the pages of male-dominated history, the cyclical, spiritual, and creative power of the female principle is often undervalued or forgotten even by women themselves, Lowinsky claims. The result is a general malaise among modern women, who, encouraged to pursue success in a masculine world, find themselves lacking a sense of meaning. Pointing to Robert Bly-like movements aimed at the rediscovery of the masculine, Lowinsky stresses the importance of exploring all aspects of the female principle so that women can regain their own sense of power, legitimacy, and tradition. The way toward this rediscovery, she says, lies in examining one's own feminine history through meaningful talks with one's mother, daughters, and other women, and through reading women's literature. By listening to females talk about their lives, women can begin to comprehend their mothers' actions and views in the context of the societies in which they lived; come to terms with their relationships with their own daughters; understand their underlying connections to female ancestors; and perhaps experience for the first time a sense of continuity and control in their lives.
Lowinsky's prose wanders when examining these concepts in the abstract, but the passion she evinces in describing her own exploration of roots--reaching back to Nazi concentration camps and bourgeois German households, then forward to middle-class America with its own advantages and constrictions--conveys the benefits of such a journey with great effectiveness.