July 7, 2007

Book Review: It's Not Your Fault She's Damaged Goods.

For Mothers of Difficult Daughters: How to Enrich and Repair the Bond in Adulthood by Charney Herst with Lynette Padwa (Villard, 1998 ISBN 0-679-45765-8)

This book was written by: Dr. Charney Herst, whose teenage daughter got the whole family brought up on drug charges by growing marijuana in the rose garden. Standing before the judge in court, "at that moment, a mother's advocate was born."(p.xiii) Mothers need an advocate like Herst, since "daughters have a whole society - not to mention most therapists - supporting their claim that they were damaged by mom" (p.19).
Lynette Padwa is a professional collaborator who has spent 20 years in publishing to become "a pro at every phase of writing and editing manuscripts" (her website).

What is in this book: Dr. Herst sees 3 types of difficult daughter, the dependent daughter, the dissatisfied daughter, and the distant daughter, so she has written a book on how to deal with the problems that their mothers face. Either that, or this is only volume "d" in Dr. Hearst's alliterative encyclopedia on dealing with family members, including problem parents and worrisome wives, soon to be followed by veterinary guides on dealing with complicated cats and daunting dogs.
Herst's advice is that too many people are ready to blame the mother for the problems of the daughter, and sometimes the best thing a mother can do is to put her own needs first.

What is not in this book: Practical steps you can take to get your daughter to stop stripping, or to see that the loser she married is never going to get off the couch and get a real job.

Would you recommend this book to Samuel L. Jackson? No. Mr. Jackson has already worked very hard to become one bad ass mother. He does not need any advice.

Would you recommend this book to Dina Lohan? No. That ship has not only sailed, but is unloading its cargo at its next port of call while its sailors are drinking, gambling, and raping their way through their shore leave.

What was interesting about this book? The personal stories about specific problem children, like the daughter who "gained a lot of weight, and wears flowing robes that make her look like she lives in an ashram,"(p.66) or the daughter who demanded her inheritance money while her mother was still living so she could fund a foundation for abused children. "Goodbye, Mother," was her response to her request's refusal, "When you decide to be a human being, give me a call."(p.197)
Dr. Herst has also developed a set of flash cards that moms can use to assist them in dealing with their daughters, that are reminders like "I will not gossip about my daughter to other family members" and "I will question all reports of mysterious diseases my daughter claims to have"(p.267).

Digg this Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments:

Read more reviews...