My daughter, my mother

Title: My daughter, my mother
Author: Annie Murray
Publisher:  Macmillan
ISBN: 978-0-230-75449-2

It’s 1984, two women, Joanne and Sooky, go with their child to the local toddler group. There they become friends and gradually they discover each other’s secrets and problems.
Joanne was once happily married, but after the arrival of her beautiful daughter, Amy, her husband’s temper is unpredictable and sometimes he hits her.
Things get worse when Joanne’s mum is hospitalised because of a fit. This accident reveals a much bigger problem…
Sooky lives back with her parents, because her disastrous marriage made her leave. She’s a Sikh and a woman who leaves her husband is dishonoured, so her mother doesn’t talk to her anymore.
In fact, her mother is proud of what she did, but also jealous, because she didn’t have the fait to do what her daughter did…

When I saw the cover of this book, I thought I have to read this one! And I was right, I truly enjoyed this wonderful novel.
In the story you mainly follow the storyline of Joanne and Sooky, but there are a lot of flash backs to the past of their mothers as well.
The two mothers grieve about their lost past and they think that they can’t change their future, but when the story goes on, they discover that you’re not dead yet at fifty and there are still a lot of possibilities. Their own children have problems as well, but they try to do something about it and build a future for themselves and for their own children.
I was especially interested in the story of Joanne and her mum. I just couldn’t believe that Joanne didn’t tell anyone what her husband did to her.
After the accident, Joanne’s mother thinks a lot about what happened to her in World War II. She was evacuated, but unfortunately she didn’t have much luck as an evacuee. You also got to know how she met her husband and why she married him. All these events led to the life she now has: she stays at home, has no particular interests and it is years ago since she talked properly to her husband.
The story about Sooky and her mother didn’t attract me as much as Joanne’s, but I still liked it. This was because I don’t know much about the Sikh religion, so I can’t identify it with my life. It was still interesting, but in my opinion, Sooky’s mum was too conservative.

I always love family histories and I think this was a brilliant example of history mixed with present (1980’s). Everything was real and believable and I think a movie of this book would be nice!

Rating: 5 stars (Brilliant! A re-read worth!)

(by Katrien)

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