Book Review(s):: Mother-Daughter Duet and Dancing with My Father

In the spirit of Mother-Daughter Duet, my mother and I each reviewed a book for Waterbrook Multnomah’s latest blog tour.

Mother-Daughter Duet by Cheri Fuller & Ali Plum

By Donna Savaki For this child I prayed–so what went wrong? The mother-daughter bond is precious and wonderful when the communication is good. But, oh, when there is a disagreement or misunderstanding, it is depressing, distressing, and heart wrenching. My very talented, intelligent, and beautiful (she does take after her mother!) adult daughter and I have been to the mountaintop and into the deepest valleys as we travel the road of communication and understanding.

In Mother-Daughter Duet: Getting to the Relationship You Want with Your Adult Daughter,  mother and daughter Cheri Fuller and Ali Plum have traveled that same rocky path in their relationship. I could see my comments (always meant to be helpful, of course) to my daughter echoed in the stories of various mother and daughters presented in the book. “Perhaps you should wear a bit more make-up. Your hair looks thin. What kind of hair products are you using? That outfit does not really flatter you,” I offer helpfully. I now understand how my suggestions are interpreted as controlling and demeaning by my daughter. Cheri and Ali walk us through years of misunderstanding, forgiveness, and healing.

Mother-Daughter Duet has many very helpful suggestions to promote a healthy adult mother-adult daughter relationship. However, this book seems to be written more to mothers to help them understand their daughters’ journey. While daughter Ali pens a portion of each chapter, the bulk of the chapters are written by mother Cheri and seem focused upon helping mothers understand their daughters. Another book needs to be written to enable daughters to understand their mothers better).

Mothers, read Mother-Daughter Duet so you can start understanding how you drive your daughters crazy.  Daughters, give this book to your mothers to read so they stop driving you crazy.  Personally, I’m glad my daughter gave this copy to me to review.

Donna Savaki is a retired teacher (over 30 years of teaching kindergarteners was enough).  She has one daughter, Amy, who is the head honcho of Backseat Writer.  She lives in Pennsylvania and owns a cute dog named Katie.

Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson

By Amy Sondova My favorite thing about Dancing with My Father by Sally Clarkson was the cover, which features an adorable little girl in a billowing skirt dancing.  The picture has a light sepia tone, which makes it look like a book I would enjoy.  And I would have—if it hasn’t been written 20 times before by more interesting authors.

Try as I might, I could not get into Dancing with My Father.  While trudging through the book, I thought of all the better books written on the subject of feminine beauty (Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge) and living freely like a child (Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli).  I was bored from the first page.

Clarkson spends at least half the book talking about herself, which would have been OK if this was a memoir, not a Christian living book.  She talks about universal struggles, her time as a missionary, and raising a family, but I got so lost in the stories, Clarkson’s main points were also lost.  Although the discussion questions at the end of each chapter were good, they could not save this book.

Perhaps if I had memories of dancing around in a fluffy dress with my father or if I was married with children or a middle-aged woman, I would have gotten more out of this book.  However, Dancing with My Father failed to draw me in, captivate me, or offer any fresh insight into living a bold life for God.

*Both of these books were provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.*

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