I saw the copy of of Chicken Soup for the Mother & Daughter Soul: Stories to Warm the Heart and Honor the Relationship for weeks at the book exchange table at my church. Several times I debated picking it before finally deciding to pick it up for this week’s review.
I think part of my reluctance to choose this book was that I’m not sure if our baby is a girl or a boy. If our baby is a girl, a book like this would potentially be more meaningful to me, just as the series for the Mom and Sons Soul would potentially be more meaningful if our baby is a boy. However, the more I thought about it, I realized I should give the book a read from the experience I do have as a daughter so with that I eagerly read through it.
As with all Chicken Soup books, it is a collection of stories (the bulk of the book) and in between some poems and cartoons. Some of the stories resonated with me as they reminded me of things I had experienced, others were very different from my experiences and yet they still touched me.
Ironically, two of the first stories, very different in nature made some of the biggest impressions. One told how being a mom changed the author’s views on everything including how hard it was to sing the first lulably without crying with emotion (which I identify with as sometimes I cry happy tears as I sing to our child in utero) to how watching the news now seems more formidable and personal. The second told of a mother who was the labor and delivery coach to the lady who is her daughter’s birth mom and how being an adopted mom was a wonderful yet different experience from raising her biological children had been.
Other standouts included a poem about how a mom told every child she was their favorite which they found amusing upon discovering it at her funeral years later, the story of a ring that was pawned several times to fund a daughter’s education, and how a daughter’s gift of taking her mom climbing changed her whole outlook on life.
Still, as with many anthologies, there were some stories that just didn’t hold my interest, either due to the length, writing or subject. I didn’t skim too much of the book, but these five or so, I definitely did. The book also felt like there was too much content, and for this reason the ending stories are less memorable to me than the beginning ones.
Overall, it was an enjoyable book that many mothers and daughters would enjoy, perhaps even with both of them reading and discussing it.
Rating – four baby booties out of five