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Review: Letter to My Daughter

February 4, 2010

When fifteen year old Liz runs away from home, her mother, Laura, sits down and writes a letter to her.  This is Laura’s way of coping with the worry and explaining some things to Liz.  In the letter, Laura tells Liz how much she loves her, how she’d hoped to have a better relationship with her daughter, and about her own life as a teenager.

George Bishop does a remarkable job writing Letter to My Daughter from a female point of view.  He does such a remarkable job evoking emotion that I felt that I was sitting at the table with Laura while she was struggling with pain and doubt and pouring her heart out.

Liz’s mother was few years older than me, but I can still remember what it was like when she writes of her youth –  a time when our country was struggling with prejudices and the Vietnam War divided us.

I love the unique way this story is told and thoroughly enjoyed it.  It’s a fast, but emotional, read and I found myself engrossed in it.  I shed quite a few tears while reading Letter to My Daughter, so be prepared with tissues when you read it.  This book made me think too, because I found myself relating to Laura both as a mother and as a daughter.

Challenges: Vietnam War Challenge

Review copy provided by Random House.   I am an Amazon Associate.
34 Comments leave one →
  1. February 4, 2010 7:15 am

    Can’t wait to read this one! It’s always amazing to me when a male can write from a female perspective. I think Chris Bohjalian and Wally Lamb are great examples of this!

  2. February 4, 2010 7:18 am

    This one sounds like something I could relate to even though I don’t have children. I’ll think about buying it next month.

  3. February 4, 2010 7:28 am

    I really loved this little novella too! Initially, I was a little skeptical that a male author could write from a female to female point of view, but he nailed it. When I was finished the book I was sorry that it had ended which is always the mark of great writing. Hope we are able to enjoy more from this promising author!

  4. February 4, 2010 7:56 am

    Just the title makes me emotional! I’m not surprised it was a tear jerker and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  5. February 4, 2010 8:04 am

    Great review! I would love to read this one.

  6. February 4, 2010 8:14 am

    I am always amazed when a male author writes from a female perspective. Sounds like a brilliant read.

  7. February 4, 2010 8:18 am

    This sounds great; i need to get to my copy soon.

    I am reading a book now from the female perspective, by a male author, and I am amazed by how the author gets into the protagonist’s head.

  8. February 4, 2010 8:45 am

    I was just going to say, I bet it would make me cry. I can’t seem to find solid footing with my daughter, who is entering adolescence. One day she deeply touches my heart, and the next day she breaks it. Guess I’d better prepare myself for about another five to ten years of this!

  9. February 4, 2010 9:09 am

    Like Vivienne, I am always impressed when a male author does a good job at writing in a woman’s voice. But I bet it’s easier than going the other direction!

  10. stacybuckeye permalink
    February 4, 2010 9:34 am

    I do tend to like books like this even though I’m not a mom. It’s always the crying part that scares me off 🙂

  11. February 4, 2010 9:40 am

    It is interesting that we often remark about a man writing from a woman point of view or a woman from a man’s. It is true that it is often not successful, but then a good writer should be able to write a different point of view than just their own, shouldn’t they? If not…well there would be a lot of very limited books, wouldn’t there?

  12. February 4, 2010 9:49 am

    This sounds very interesting. But I’m an easy crier. I’d need tissues for sure!

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

  13. February 4, 2010 11:50 am

    I always pass on ones I know are going to make me cry. Granted, that means I miss a lot of great ones, but I’m okay with that.

  14. February 4, 2010 12:24 pm

    The fact that you needed lots of tissues while reading this book, tells me I will enjoy it too. I know that sounds crazy but I love books to reach in and hit my emotions. I’ll look for this one.

  15. February 4, 2010 12:51 pm

    The title intrigued me and your review has made me want to read it! Thanks for letting me know about this book!

  16. February 4, 2010 2:38 pm

    Sounds fascinating, but I don’t like to cry when I read. Maybe once in a while, so I’ll keep this in the back of my mind.

  17. February 4, 2010 3:36 pm

    This sounds so good. I love it when authors can write effectively across gender lines.

  18. February 4, 2010 4:02 pm

    I have this one too…can’t wait to get to it!

  19. February 4, 2010 4:40 pm

    This book slipped by me. I had not heard of it, but your reaction to it makes me really want to get my hands on a copy. I think it’s very cool that it was written by a man, but relates a female perspective so well. I will be looking for this one. Thanks!

  20. February 4, 2010 4:56 pm

    Margot, you said it so perfectly. That’s the kind of books I like too.

  21. February 4, 2010 5:10 pm

    Mother-daughter relationships can be so difficult, and I do enjoy books that explore that complexity. You make this one sound really good!

  22. February 4, 2010 6:14 pm

    This does sound very good. Thank you for your review, Kathy.

  23. February 4, 2010 6:36 pm

    It looks like such a sweet little book, and the cover’s pretty. I wasn’t born until the 70s, so I came on the scene a bit later than the Viet Nam war era. But my parents were older, and I grew up with the discussions between them and my older siblings at the dinner table.

  24. February 4, 2010 6:40 pm

    Wow! This sounds like a great book. THanks for the review.

  25. February 4, 2010 7:24 pm

    This book sounds really good. Some of my favorite books are those with a mother/daughter relationship and I am intrigued by the fact that it was written by a man. I’ll have to check it out!

  26. February 4, 2010 7:47 pm

    This sounds so good!

  27. February 4, 2010 9:45 pm

    Definitely a great review and a must-read for me!! I had heard of this book faintly once, but I don’t recollect.

  28. February 5, 2010 4:42 pm

    This one sounds really good..I’m going to add it to my wish list and will possibly get it this year in hopes of reading it for the War Through the Generations challenge.

  29. February 7, 2010 5:12 am

    I’d be sure to get a box of tissue ready if I read this book. This one sounds like a good read. Love the cover too.

  30. February 7, 2010 2:19 pm

    I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that have made me cry so I might as well add this one to my list too!

  31. February 8, 2010 2:11 pm

    I’ve heard about this one, but wasn’t sure it was for me. After your review, I might give it a try!

  32. February 10, 2010 1:09 pm

    I was undecided about this book, but your review has made me want to read it. It’s great that he’s able to successfully write from a female POV.

    We’ll get this posted on the challenge blog soon.

  33. March 29, 2010 10:26 am

    Dear Bermudaonion,

    Thanks for your kind review of Letter to My Daughter. I didn’t set out to write a story that would make people cry, but it seems to have that effect on readers. At least they’re good tears, I hope.

    Thanks to all your readers who have posted comments, too.

    All the best,
    George

  34. April 26, 2010 12:41 pm

    We posted a clip of your review here on War Through the Generations.

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