20 Best Books About Mothers And Daughters And The Relationships They Have

There’s nothing quite as unique as the relationship between a mother and her daughter. No one gets under a daughter’s skin quite like her mother. We fight and stop speaking. Sometimes for 15 minutes, sometimes for 15 years. We tell them everything (or nothing at all), we let them coddle us (or push them away); we love them, we hate them. But through all the good times, the bad times, and the many in-between, our mothers are always there, even when they aren’t directly at our side. These 20 books take a look at the many different kinds of women we call “mom,” and the impact they have on who we become.

1. Washing the Dead By Michelle Brafman

When Barbara was 17 years old, her mother’s affair with the groundskeeper of the local synagogue tore the family from their tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community. Now a mother herself, Barbara has been invited back to her hometown by the rabbi’s wife to participate in the ritual burial washing of a beloved teacher. Summoning the courage to confront her mother after decades of estrangement, Barbara discovers the healing power of sacred rituals and decides to forgive the woman who turned her world upside down in hopes of sparing her own daughter from a bitter family legacy.  Read More.
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2. Trail of Secrets By Eileen Goudge

Skyler Sutton has grown up with doting parents who lavish her with riding lessons, fine clothes, and anything else she could wish for. But they’re hiding a staggering secret—Skyler isn’t their biological daughter. Years ago, the Suttons discovered that the “abandoned” infant they adopted had actually been kidnapped, a fact which they kept to themselves so they wouldn’t lose her. Now 23 years old, Skyler finds herself pregnant from a one-night stand and in a situation remarkably similar to her long-lost mother’s. Skyler’s decision to give her baby up for adoption results in a shocking and bittersweet reunion with the woman who never fully recovered from her disappearance. Read More.
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3. Famous Baby By Karen Rizzo

This novel is a hilarious and poignant exploration of parenting in the age of social media. Tired of her most embarrassing moments being uploaded online for all to read about, 18-year-old Abbie moves 500 miles away from home to escape her mother Ruth, who runs a popular mom blog. But when Abbie finds out that her ailing grandmother is moving in with Ruth, she comes up with the only logical solution to spare Grandma from cyber exploitation: kidnapping her. What follows is an unforgettable battle of wills and a fresh take on how social media affects our closest relationships. Read More.
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4. Fortune’s Daughter By Alice Hoffman

Even though Lila divines futures from tea leaves, she is forever turning to her past, remembering the daughter she gave up as a young woman. The tempestuous winds of earthquake season finally bring Rae into her life, a woman with a freshly broken heart, a baby on the way—and a fortune that binds them together. Hoffman has a way of imbuing the everyday with a sense of magic, and as Lila and Rae grapple with the could-have-been’s and the will-be’s of their maternal lives, she uncovers the wonders, both joyous and painful, of motherhood. Read More.
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5. Her Mother’s Daughter By Marilyn French

Stacey has never felt close to her mother, but a dive into her family’s history reveals that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Like Stacey, her mother was a master of reinvention, escaping a life of poverty for the middle class. As Stacey discovers her mother’s hidden past and reflects on her relationships with her own children, Her Mother’s Daughter broadens into a multi-generational saga of sacrifices made and taken for granted—and the unsung heroism of motherhood. Read More.
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