Mothers and Daughters

Bridget Williams Books

The women who grew up earlier this century expected to be wives and mothers – gardeners, cooks, churchgoers, voluntary workers, housekeepers.

They brought up a generation of women, now in their fifties, who became lawyers, secretaries, teachers, businesswomen, factory workers – as well as mothers.

Between these generations lies extraordinary social change. The women in Mothers and Daughters talk of the different worlds they inhabit - the mothers on the one hand, the daughters on the other. At times, the two can never meet, and the stories of these women include great pain. Others tell of wonderful meetings across difference or reconciliation after times of difficulty. For some mothers and daughters, the relationship has always been close; others recognise that real intimacy has eluded them.

Twenty-six women tell their stories – most of them as mother–daughter pairs. Anonymity allows them to speak openly of both joy and distress. These interviews, conducted by Alison Gray, have rare honesty, allowing the reader insight into a connection that is intense and central for all generations, but remarkably so for these two groups of mothers and daughters.