The Ties That Bond - Reflections of a Defining Relationship
by Yvonne M. P. Lee, M.S.
Stratton Press

"Mothers are the conduit to the well-being of their daughters."

In a “long gone era,” mothers had other women to act as midwives, wise grandmothers to assist in child-rearing, and the general fabric of society to facilitate the modeling of virtuous, organized behaviors. Now, while children who grow up with such support are still successful in life, the patterns have changed. Many children will have a mother who is young, unsupported by family or peers, and lacking in basic parenting skills. The author regards the relationship between mothers and their daughters as a key factor in determining future mothering skills. She illustrates this with a narrative composed of numerous sets of maternal characteristics, both positive and negative. A mother may encourage and console, feed and clothe, but at the same time cause confusion in her daughter’s psyche with harsh physical punishment. She may be capable and caring, a counselor and educator, but also a sharp, sometimes demeaning critic.

Lee shows her deep concern for family issues in this short, creative book composed for mothers and daughters. She has a degree in community psychology and offers this work in a genuine expression of empathy. Her experience working with those affected by domestic violence give her insight into her subject, while her skills as a poet enrich her writing. Her simple but challenging themes are illustrated with emotionally evocative photos depicting mother-daughter pairs. For example, one photo typifies the professional mother, dressed for work, with a baby in her arm and a toddler swinging on her leg. Enhancing the photos and narrative are aphorisms expressing the ideals of the mother-daughter bond, the poem “Children” by philosopher Kahlil Gibran, and a short “test” for mothers and daughters to determine how well they really know one another. Combining her knowledge base with her evident love of language, Lee has created a book that is attractive, informative, and down-to-earth.

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