My friend Christine is amazing. She has this impressive gift of being able to pick the right books for the right people, whether as gifts or loaners. One day several months ago she showed up at coffee with our coffee clique, the Strident Women, carrying a book to loan to everyone. Mostly they weren’t ones we’d asked for or even discussed — just books she thought we’d like.
Mine was Between Mothers and Sons, appropriate I guess since I’m the mother of a son. But since it was nonfiction it got laid aside for awhile, until the moment arrived when I saw it on my headboard, picked it up and said, “Why haven’t I read this book yet?”
Once I did pick it up, I devoured it in a day. It’s a collection of essays by women writers about their relationships with their sons. There’s a lot of territory covered here — raising young boys, relationships with adult sons, difficult and broken relationship as well as close and nourishing ones. What they have in common is that every one is beautifully written. When I put down the collection, I wished I could read an entire book — a memoir — by each of these writers, because they all wrote so beautifully about their lives and families, I wanted more. Even if you’re not the mother of a son, if you appreciate well-crafted personal essays, you shouldn’t miss this book.