Monday, March 15, 2010

Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop

If you have ever had an argument or disagreement with your mother, “Letter to My Daughter” is a book you can relate to on some level.

The book deals with the tumultuous relationship between a mother and daughter. It helps to show parents really were young once themselves.

The story begins when Elizabeth runs away from her family home on the eve of her 15th birthday following a heated agrument with her mother, Laura. In an attempt to keep calm until her daughter’s return, Laura decides to write “Liz” a letter telling her things she wishes they had already talked about. The letter is Laura’s way of telling her daughter “the truth about how a girl grows up.”

In the letter Laura tells of her own disagreements and strained relationship with her parents, especially her mother. The letter covers Laura’s life growing up in the early ‘70s.

Laura tells of meeting a boy named Tim that her parents disapproved of. She’s very candid about the events that lead her parents to enroll her in a strict Catholic boarding school.

Laura details the highs and extreme lows of her life at the school. She tells of her secret correspondence with Tim who enlists in the Army and is sent to Vietnam. Events of pain and guilt from her adolescences are shared in hopes Liz will see she (Laura) understands it’s tough being a teenager.

“Letter to My Daughter” is both touching and encouraging. It will have the reader considering their own relationship with their mother and/or daughter.

For readers who have a daughter, this book will inspire you to write your own letter just to set the record straight at some point in your daughter’s life. It’s also a handy book for teens to read to help them realize parents were once young and that they understand mistakes can be made.

From the first line of the letter until the salutation, the reader is transformed to a different era and a different way of thinking. The book reminds us times change, but the relationship between parent and child continues to be problematic.

The one thing that may surprise you the most about this book is that the author is a man. Author George Bishop gives a strong voice to Laura that never wavers in her material instinct to protect and love her child.


Letter to My Daughter * Ballantine Books * @2010 * ISBN: 978-0-345-51598-8 * Hardcover * 160 pages

FTC Full Disclosure - This book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.


  1. Wonderful review. I don't believe I have ever had an argument with my mother- she just doesn't argue. But I would still enjoy reading this one.

  2. Mason - Thanks for this terrific review! This does seem like a compelling book. Speaking as the mother of an almost-19-year-old daughter, it would probably strike a chord, although I have to say, we haven't had really tumultuous arguments. We've been lucky...

  3. I don't have daughters, but I am one, and this seems like a book that I absolutely must read (and perhaps get my mother to read too).
    Thank you for the recommendation.

  4. This sounds like one that I need to pick up. I want to keep the good relationship with my daughter as she gets older.

    Surprising the author is a man! I might have been tempted to use a pen name in his case.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. Thanks for the great review of George's book. I am glad you enjoyed it. So many people are saying wonderful things about this one, I'm going to have to read it myself.

    Thanks again.


    Pump Up Your Book

  6. Sounds like a very good book, especially for moms (and dads) of girls.

    Straight From Hel

  7. Teresa, it's a book that will make you think about your relationship with your mother and/or daughter in different terms.

    Margot, it's wonderful that you have a relationship like that with your daughter (especially a 19 year old). That's the kind of relationship Laura was hoping for in this book.

    Rayna, I think the book helps us to remember that our mothers were young once. I think the book could also be used to help mothers tell their sons things that would help them with women as they get older.

    Elizabeth, I was surprised that he didn't use a pen name too. At first I didn't think a man could write a woman's view point, but I was wrong. He did a great job of it.

    Cheryl, it is a good book. It was an easy book to read. The writing flows well and you can feel Laura's emotions. Thanks for introducing me to this author and his book.

  8. Helen, I hadn't thought about Dads reading it. But it would be a good book for them too.

  9. Mother daughter relationships are so rich with emotion and inspiration for stories. This sounds like a great one, and I love too the time period in which it takes place!

  10. I noticed immediately that it was written by a man and wondered if you would touch on that. I have already thought of several people to whom I will pass this review along! Thanks, Mason.


  11. Sounds like an interesting book. Sounds like I'd need a box of tissues handy, too. Thanks for the great review.

  12. Sounds really good - I'm with Carol - I'd need the tissues near by :)

  13. I did not have a good relationship with my mom and have a son, not a daughter. This is an excellent review and at some point, I may just need to read this. Thanks, mason.

  14. Joanne, the time period struck a chord with me too. I remember my relationship with my mother during the period.

    Michele, I started once to mention the author first but against it. As I read the book I forgot the author was male so that's why I waited till the end to mention it. It's a good book.

    Carol and Jemi, I'll admit I did need a few tissues a couple times in the book. But I'm extremely tender hearted. It will pull on those heart strings a little.

    Karen, I think the idea behind the book could also apply to a mother/son relationship.

  15. Excellent review on what sounds like a very poignant and useful book for parents, especially mom's.

    Marvin D Wilson

  16. I have two daughters and have written a few letters to them myself. Sometimes under precarious circumstances. The book sounds very interesting!! I would be interested in reading it.

  17. Diane, thanks.

    Marvin, it would be a useful book for all parents.

    Mary, thanks. I think this book will encourage mothers to write more letters for their daughters.

  18. This sounds like a book that many mothers and daughters can relate to. I remember when I was a teen going through a bad time and my mother wrote me a letter. I still have it, lo these many, many years later. I cherish that letter because my mother passed away a few years ago. I'll have to take a look at this book.


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