New York Times Bestseller: “A winning collection” of essays by daughters including Elinor Lipman, Margo Jefferson, Jean Hanff Korelitz, Lisa See, and more (Kirkus Reviews).
Each of these thirty-one “beautifully crafted” essays (Publishers Weekly) is a story about a mother’s gift to a daughter—one that touched her, taught her something, or symbolized a unique bond. Whether a gift was meant to keep a daughter warm, instruct her in the ways of womanhood, encourage her talents, or just remind her of a mother’s love, each story gets to the heart of a relationship.
Rita Dove recalls the box of polish that inspired her to paint her nails in the stripes and polka dots she wears to this day. Lisa See writes about the gift of writing from her mother, Carolyn See. Cecilia Muñoz remembers the wok her mother gave her and a lifetime of family meals. Judith Hillman Paterson revisits the year of sobriety her mother bequeathed to her when Paterson was nine, the year before her mother died of alcoholism. Abigail Pogrebin describes her middle-aged bat mitzvah, for which her mother provided flowers after a lifetime of guilt for skipping her daughter’s religious education. Margo Jefferson writes about her mother’s gold dress from the posh department store where they could finally shop as black women.
Collectively, the pieces have a force that feels as elemental as the tides: outpourings of lightness and darkness; love and rage; joy and grief. From literary prize winners, bestselling authors, and other celebrated women, they are “as varied and unexpected and eloquent and moving as mother love itself” (Cathleen Schine, New York Times-bestselling author of The Grammarians).