Title: Letter to My Daughter
Author: George Bishop
About (From Random House website):
It’s early morning and I’m sitting here wondering where you are, hoping you’re all right.
A fight, ended by a slap, sends Elizabeth out the door of her Baton Rouge home on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her mother, Laura, is left to fret and worry—and remember. Wracked with guilt as she awaits Liz’s return, Laura begins a letter to her daughter, hoping to convey “everything I’ve always meant to tell you but never have.”
In her painfully candid confession, Laura shares memories of her own troubled adolescence in rural Louisiana, growing up in an intensely conservative household. She recounts her relationship with a boy she loved despite her parents’ disapproval, the fateful events that led to her being sent away to a strict Catholic boarding school, the personal tragedy brought upon her by the Vietnam War, and, finally, the meaning of the enigmatic tattoo below her right hip.
Letter to My Daughter is just that, a letter that a mother Laura, writes to her daughter, Liz after they get into a terrible fight and Liz runs away with a family car. What is astonishing is that it is written by a man. George Bishop has a wonderful way of capturing the female narrative and perspective ofLaura as a woman and a mother. Laura decides to write a letter after Liz runs off explaining details about her own life, her relationship with her parents, falling in love at 15, the Vietnam War, her love for her daughter and how she had vowed to never be like her own mother. Laura realizes that she never shared these things about her past with Liz and regrets not doing so. Laura's character was sincere and honest and the story was told in a realistic way when she expressed her feelings as a teenager and mother. This book shares the realities that mothers and daughters face and how often mother's may not realize that their daughters need them to be honest about their own past and to be open in listening to how their daughter's feel. I did enjoy the novel but it felt incomplete in several ways and there were some gaps in the story. Although the focus of the novel is on the mother and daughter, it bothered me not to know who Liz's father was. Laura referred to him as Liz's father but not who his character was, not even a name. The ending left me as a reader hanging and the story incomplete.
Source: I received an advanced reading copy from Random House.