Thinking back on books about mothers, my favorite was Ruth Reichl’s Not Becoming My Mother. The title evokes a prayer most daughters silently breathe when younger, and then realize when older.
Here is an excerpt from my 2010 post:
“In her usual humorous style, Reichl begins with a hilarious tale of how “Mim” creating a last-minute snack for her Brownie troop that somehow did not poison the girls. Her mother was not the cook in the family.
She quickly segways into a serious analysis of her mother’s life. Understandably, she dared not attempt to write about her while her mother was alive; who would? A box of letters conveniently chronicling relationships, disappointments, and missed opportunities becomes the basis for getting to know her mother. Predictably, her mother is not the person she thought she knew. Like all mothers, she had a life before becoming a mother, and Reichl convincingly attacks the nuances of her mother’s ups and downs with compassion and a gratitude for lessons learned.
Reading this short book can’t help but make you wonder what you don’t know about your own mother, or, if you are a mother, what your children got wrong about you.”