Our Mothers, Our Daughters

Divas That Care Collection

Non-Fiction - Relationships
147 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Our Mothers, Our Daughters by Candace Gish reminds us that the relationship shared between mother and daughter is deep. It’s not always positive, but it defines the identity of both mother and daughter and the way that the world sees them. We grow together and learn together and, for better or worse, we create ourselves in the image of the other. It’s like a road trip, one that takes many dips and turns and leads us, hopefully, to a positive and pre-destined place. As Jacqueline Biollo writes in her story, Alethea, “Metaphorically, road trips, like relationships, can be expensive. They take time and energy to foster. But with some planning, we can successfully navigate the road ahead and avoid some bumps along the way. Relationships can be adventurous and advantageous to exploring new things, building confidence, and making memories.” Simply put, life and relationships are journeys we must take that will lead us to places unknown.

Candace Gish’s book, Our Mothers, Our Daughters, is an anthology of stories honoring the mother-daughter dynamic. This book is part of the Divas That Care Collection, bringing together the positive and the negative (and the most loving and challenging) connections that define who we are. The stories feature three distinct themes: Connection, Inner Self, and Unconditional Love. The accounts are meant to inspire all of us mothers and daughters as we embark on the mission of bonding and love (or, sadly, the lack thereof). Some of the stories may spark a similar memory in the reader’s mother-daughter relationship. The narratives are accompanied by prompts and suggestions to further strengthen, or at least comprehend, the complexity that makes up our own stories. Through the words of other mothers and daughters, this anthology will both inspire and encourage all of us to look deeper into our emotions as we make that poignant, sometimes difficult, journey.

Jamie Michele

Our Mothers, Our Daughters: The Stories That Make And Create Our Lives (Divas That Care Collection) is an anthology of non-fiction stories that revolve around maternal relationships and the ties that bind mothers and daughters. The collection has multiple individual authors who share a slice of their stories with the contributions having been pulled together into its present book format by Candace Gish. The stories range from the inspiring My Daughter, My Valentine by Brenda Pearce in which the author, who thought she couldn't have more kids, feels an overwhelming desire for a baby while admiring a newborn girl at work. Weeks later, she discovers she's pregnant and gives birth to a healthy baby girl on Valentine's Day, whom she considers a miracle and a gift from the Divine; to A Study in Golden Rule and Persistence by Rosanna Pittella, wherein Pittella recounts her decision to send her gifted daughter Jessica to school at 18 months old, despite opposition from others. Jessica thrived and went on to earn three degrees.

All told, Our Mothers, Our Daughters by Candace Gish contains over two dozen stories that each pack a huge heartwarming punch despite their compact sizes. I like that the stories are categorized into three distinct and interconnected parts: Connection, Inner-Self, and Unconditional Love. I was most touched by My Beautiful Miracle by Jennifer Herron who reflects on the joys and challenges of raising her daughter Lauren, who was born premature and faced health and developmental obstacles. Through their journey together, Herron has learned the importance of embracing uniqueness and adapting to the unknown, and she feels truly blessed to have learned so much from her daughter. All of the stories are polished and wonderfully composed, and I loved that each section ends with action steps, journal prompts, and affirmations. I walked away from this collection feeling whole and happy and completely fulfilled. Very highly recommended.

Carmen Tenorio

Our Mothers, Our Daughters: The Stories that Make and Create Life is a collection of essays of both celebratory and poignant snippets by women whose central theme revolves around the relationships they have or had with their mothers and or daughters. It is divided into three major parts. The first is Connection, which deals with the sometimes ambivalent, dynamic, or static relationships commonly found in mother-daughter relationships. The second part is the Inner Self which is about how our internal mind and soul handle or react to new and old stuff or any experience of damage or process any healing that it encounters when it comes to the struggle and challenges in mother-daughter relationships. The last section is on Unconditional Love or the selfless act of loving a daughter or mother with complete acceptance and without expecting anything in return. The anthology is also partly an adventure in journaling therapy, as Candace Gish includes at the end of each section a statement of affirmations, tasks, and journaling prompts that encourage us to open up, get involved and be willing to correct our flaws for the sake of a better relationship and life with others.

Our Mothers, Our Daughters is part of Candace Gish's highly recommended Divas That Care collection that examines the mother-daughter relationship as akin to a force of nature that profoundly influences and impacts our identity and lives and even the way we consciously or unconsciously map our future. The essays are meant to create empathy and make us realize that we can have similar experiences and situations colored by the nuances of our unique circumstances. This should lead us to understand how one's own story came to be. We are guided to do attentive self-introspection through journal prompts and affirmations that lead to one's meaningful and purposeful self-discovery, genuine character, and self-autonomy. Humbling self-acceptance makes us acknowledge our possibilities and limitations.

There is courage and strength in recognizing the positive elements like the people and conditions at play in our lives and any potential issues that need to be identified and ideally resolved to enhance not only our relationships but also our way of thinking and ability to make decisions. This can also help us choose the best option or direction to take. Our growth and maturation process continues, and with practice and dedication, we should see better days when connecting with our mothers and daughters. This should also enable us to reach out and provide an empowered sisterhood of support to other women and make effective change based on the principles of positivity, love, respect, and justice in our personal and public lives.

Pat Andersen

I loved reading these powerful stories of the bonds...the love, the struggles and the dreams...