Mothers and Sons is not an instruction manual. If you are
searching for a book to tell you "what do do" with your sons, you'll
need to keep looking. Or even "just figure it out."
So then what
is this book? Between
Mothers and Sons is a series of eighteen essays on raising
sons, edited by Patricia Stevens (also the mother of sons.) The
essays within celebrate all the emotions a mother may feel for her
sons, ranging from tiger-fighting protection for the infant, to
awe at their abilities and minds, confusion over the stages they
will pass through, and pain at the possible distance that can arise
in any parent/child relationship. All of the stories will touch
you, some will contain insights never considered before, and I guarantee
that at least one of them will resonate within you as you read it.
highlight the closeness of the mother/son bond, and yet admit the
distance, sometimes negligible and sometimes cavernous, that exists
between a mother and her sons. The essays force one to think (and
re-think) about one's expectations about raising sons. If you are
like me, you'll laugh at many of the stories and feel a "zing" of
familiarity with some; yet others will fill you with an intense
sadness, coupled with a heartfelt wish that none of the issues outlined
will ever occur within the context of your own relationship with
book is great for those who have never been around little boys (and
big boys, and young men). It will give insight into their minds
and actions that you may never have considered.
It is also wonderful
for those who, like me, have spent a lifetime surrounded by men
and boys. It is a reminder of how they differ, and a cause of laughter
as I think back on the boys and men I've known and see them in these
could not put it down (well, except to sleep; I'm still new-mom
enough that NOTHING comes between me and my sleep) until I finished
it. Each essay compelled me to finish reading it, and the enjoyment
of THAT essay pulled me hopefully into the next one. None of the
essays disappointed and the next thing I knew... I had read the
entire book in two days!
Mothers and Sons is certainly not only about learning and
analyzing the relationship in some abstract, sociological sense.
It is also about laughing at what you read, empathizing with the
mothers and sons portrayed, and having one's eyes opened to the
different relationships and outcomes of parenting sons.
are contributed by: Julene Bair, Janet Burroway, Robb Forman Dew,
Deborah Galyan, Mary Gordon, Joy Harjo, Anne Lamott, Susan Lester,
Jo-Ann Mapson, Leigh McKinley, Valerie Monroe, Naomi Shihab Nye,
Eileen Pollack, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Patricia Stevens, Sallie Tilsdale,
Kris Vervaecke, and Patricia Williams.
Stevens has written essays that appear in Minding the Body: Women Writers
on Body and Soul, as well as in The Healing Circle: Authors Writing
of Recovery. She has received the James Michener Fellowship and
the Nelson Algren Short Story Award. She is the mother of two sons
and lives in Portland, Oregon.
• Between Mothers and Sons at Amazon.com
• Between Mothers and Sons at Amazon UK
• Between Mothers and Sons at Amazon Canada