Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review - Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop


Product Description From Amazon.com:

Dear Elizabeth,

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.


Absorbing and affirming, George Bishop’s magnificent debut brilliantly captures a sense of time and place with a distinct and inviting voice. Letter to My Daughter is a heartwrenching novel of mothers, daughters, and the lessons we all learn when we come of age.


My Thoughts: When I had seen this book around the blogosphere, I noted that the author was male and I assumed the story was about a father writing a letter to his daughter. So, imagine my surprise when I began the story...and it was the mother who was the narrator, and author of the letter. I was not only surprised, but delighted as the story took hold of me, and I met Laura Jenkins; first as a worried mother of a runaway teenager, then going back in time to her adolescence, getting to know her during the most painful years of her life. In the letter to her daughter Liz, she reveals secrets that she has kept for decades. She outlines her life beginning when she was her daughter's age, fifteen, and what she endured growing up. She keeps reminding her daughter in the letter that things were "not that much different" between she and her parents than they were between Liz and her parents.


This is a book that can be read straight through...in one sitting. Yes, it's that good. George Bishop is a very talented and gifted author. He accomplishes the amazing task of verbalizing the special relationship between a mother and her daughter so beautifully. I can honestly say that I was very satisfied with the end of the story. Have a box of tissues handy while you are reading this ...you'll need them.

Photobucket Very Good!

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515988

About the Author: George Bishop holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he won the department’s Award of Excellence for a collection of stories. He has spent most of the past decade living and teaching overseas in Slovakia, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, India, and Japan. He now lives in New Orleans.

***I received this book from Librarything.com Early Reviewers Program***

5 comments:

itsJUSTme-wendy said...

Oh my word, you always pick the sad ones don't you!

Well, I am a sucker for sad books!

MarceJ said...

Great review Missy, I can't wait to read this one, I love emotional reads.

I didn't realise it was a male author very interesting.

Lisa said...

I think I probably would have passed this one up if I hadn't read your review. Now I'm going to have to pick it up!

George Bishop, Jr. said...

Dear Missy,

Thanks for your kind comments on my novel Letter to My Daughter. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

I just attended the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, and was reminded there of how very important readers like you are. The agents, the publishers, the authors, everyone was lauding bloggers as the people who sustain publishing.

So thanks for reading, and a warm thanks to your all your online friends as well.

All the best,
George Bishop, Jr.

LindyLouMac said...

This one sounds interesting, I wonder if it has been published in Europe.

I have just been enjoying a browse around your Blog.

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