Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Sisters' Authors Take on `Mothers and Daughters'

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

`Sisters' Authors Take on `Mothers and Daughters'

Article excerpt

Some books explode onto the best-seller lists, securely in

place at the top of the heap by the time they hit the stores.

John Grisham sells like that. Stephen King. Anne Rice.

But, other books sneak up the lists.

They seem simply to appear one Sunday and then they hang on,

climb a few notches, hold steady, slip every now and then, climb

again. But, they don't go away. Carol Saline and Sharon J.

Wohlmuth's 1994 book, Sisters, was that kind of book. It hung

in there a long time.

Now, the authors are back with Mothers & Daughters (Doubleday,

$24.95). This is not a mom-and-apple-pie tour of motherhood.

It's tougher than it is sentimental and, oh yes, it's sweet,

some of the stories, many of the fine photographs, but it's

never sugarcoated.

These women, mothers and daughters are survivors. Honest. Some

of the stories are strange, haunting. There is, for instance,

the reflection of a young woman who received a kidney from her

dying mother. The kidney was rejected, but she has been told

that it will not have to be removed, though it doesn't function.

"I don't know how I could go on if they took it out. Even

though it's eerie having a part of you in me, it's comforting,

too. I like that I can put my hand over your kidney and talk to

you. Kind of like you're still here. Except you're not where I

really want you -- at the other end of the phone line," the

young woman muses.

Mothers and daughters are much on the minds of many writers at

the moment.

I've Always Meant to Tell You (Pocket Books, $22) is an

anthology of letters by contemporary women writers to their

mothers. It was edited by Constance Warloe.

This book isn't mom and apple pie, either.

Florida author Connie May Fowler has used the pain of her

upbringing by an abusive, alcoholic mother to make wonderful,

redemptive fiction. Her latest novel, Before Women Had Wings ,

has just been issued in paperback, will soon be a TV movie for

ABC in which Oprah Winfrey will play a reclusive healer who

befriends a teenage girl trapped in an abusive family situation.

Fowler's letter to her mother in I've Always Meant to Tell You

is painful in its honesty -- as, for that matter, is Fowler's

fiction.

She writes: "Dear Mama, Every day for the past seventeen years,

I have engaged in an act of mournful folly. …

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