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Fatherless Women: How We Change After We Lose Our Dads [Kindle Edition]

Clea Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"Elegant prose ... sheds new light on the father-daughter dynamic"
-Boston magazine

Praise for Fatherless WOMEN

"If it can be said about a book on loss, Fatherless Women is a pleasure to read. Clea Simon is a warm, honest, intelligent, and trustworthy guide, not only for grieving women but for the men who support them. Simon's insights about father-daughter relationships are profound."
-Neil Chethik, author of FatherLoss

"Clea Simon deepens our understanding of the complicated emotions daughters feel about fathers, both during life and especially after death. This book will help heal rifts and set stuck energies free."
-Beth Witrogen McLeod, author of Caregiving:
The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal

"Unusually candid and often provocative . . . Simon's book is immensely thought-provoking about a topic that all of us will face."
-Pauline Boss, Ph.D., author of Ambiguous Loss:
Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief

There is a special bond between a father and a daughter, and when that bond is broken by death, a woman's life can change in profound and unexpected ways. Clea Simon, critically acclaimed author of Mad House, explores this crucial meeting point of grief and growth by delving into her own experience and those of other women to paint an illuminating portrait of the father-daughter relationship and its lifelong ramifications. Filled with moving stories of real women, this poignant, comforting, and insightful book paves the way for all women to make peace with the past, with the adults they have become, and to courageously face the question: what happens next?

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Product Description

Review

Boston Globe journalist Simon draws on her own experiences, as well as those of women she has interviewed, to examine the relationship between father and daughter and the changes that occur when a father dies. Although interesting for its personal insights and backed by the interviews and a bibliography, this is not a scholarly work and should be read as the author′s personal reflections. Chapters explore the grief process and the life changes that can follow, affecting marriages, work choices, and bonds between mothers and daughters. Readers are also shown the complexity of father–daughter relationships and how daughters learn to reconcile sometimes opposing influences after a father′s death. Because the author was 31 when her father died and her interviewees were mostly in their twenties, thirties, and forties, many of the emotional changes cited here could have come about simply as a apart of maturation. Those who lose their fathers very early in life, as well as the 50 percent who lose them after they turn 50, would probably not experience a father′s death in the same way. Suitable for large public libraries. (Library Journal, September 15, 2001)

When Fathers die, says Simon (Mad House), a Boston Globe journalist, their daughters may experience crucial changes in their lives. Some will feel freed of their father′s expectations and strictures. Some will want to have a baby. Some will already have worked out their issued with their dads years earlier and will simply feel grief at the loss of a parent. Some will forge a whole new relationship with their mother, if she′s still living. Everything is possible, and may depend on the daughter′s sexuality and age, on whether the parents were divorced or unhappy with each other. Or none of these things may happen, or if they do, they may not depend on the aforementioned factors. Such rampant indeterminacy is meant to sound embracing and supportive; instead, it reads like equivocal psychobabble. Despite plenty of valid and judicious observations ("When we lose a parent, we move up a step in the generational hierarchy), the narrative feels flat and unsubstantiated. Simon writes mostly based on her own experience of her father′s death and has also talked to friends and read some popular psychology books on fathers and daughters and on death and grieving. Her friends′ experiences are used to illutrate some of the ways paternal death affects daughters, while experts are invoked to give the book some clout. (Oct.) (Publishers Weekly, September 15, 2001)

"...interesting for its personal insights and backed by interviews and a bibliography." (Library Journal, September 15, 2001)

Review

"If it can be said about a book on loss, Fatherless Women is a pleasure to read. Clea Simon is a warm, honest, intelligent, and trustworthy guide, not only for grieving women but for the men who support them. Simon′s insights about father–daughter relationships are profound." (Neil Chethik, author of FatherLoss)

"Through heartfelt exploration, Clea Simon has transformed a labor of relationship into a labor of love. She deepens our understanding of the complicated emotions daughters feel about fathers, both during life and especially after death. This book will help heal rifts and set these stuck energies free." (Beth Witrogen McLeod, author of Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal)

"Clea Simon has taken up a difficult and challenging question: What happens to a woman after her father dies? Her book is an intimate and informative answer drawing upon texts, interviews, and most vividly, her own experience. This book is an important addition to the literature about the highly charged relationship of daughters and fathers. It offers insight, hope, and compassion." (Patricia Reis, author of Daughters of Saturn: From Father′s Daughter to Creative Woman)

"Clea Simon deepens our understanding of the complicated emotions daughters feel about fathers, both during life and especially after death. This book will help heal rifts and set these stuck energies free." (Beth Witrogen McLeod, author of Caregiving: The Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Renewal)

"Unusually candid and often provocative….Simon′s book is immensely thought–provoking about a topic that all of us will face." (Pauline Boss, Ph.D., author of Ambiguous Loss)

"A book filled with compelling stories of not only mourning, heartbreak, and struggle, but also gratitude, liberation, and joy. Grief, Clea Simon reminds us, is as complex as the love that gave rise to it, and a father′s legacy unfolds, changes, and deepens over time." (Richard Hoffman, author of Half the House)

"This book is an important addition to the literature about the highly charged relationship of daughters and fathers that offers insight, hope, and compassion." (Patricia Reis, author of Daughters of Saturn: From Father′s Daughter to Creative Woman)


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 613 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (2 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DNL0D2S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #444,636 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book really helped me to make sense of some of the more complicated emotions that occur in father daughter relationships. It was my companion through many dark hours after my dad passed away, and at times I still pick it off the shelf to help me think through and understand some of the changes that have occured in me as a person since I lost my dad. Written in an accessible and personal manner the author is kind and supportive in her accounts of her experiences as well as those women she has interviewed. There is one other book as well that I found helpful and this was The Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith, and although recounting this experinces of someone younger than myself as she struggled to cope with multiple losses, the two books together helped me shift from a very sad and unhappy place of grieving to gradually being able to make sense of the the complex emotions I was trying to deal with. A must read if youve recently (or are about to) lose your dad!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! 31 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I first heard about this book because of the incredible write-up in "Woman" and rushed to get it. As a woman who has been grappling with my own relationship with my father, the book really spoke to me. Beautifully written and full of hope--I can't wait to read the next thing Ms. Simon writes!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Aid in Dealing with the Death of Your Father 27 Mar. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is really outstanding. I recommend it to anyone who has just lost their father or for someone who has not gotten a handle on their loss however long ago it was.
Clea Simon writes as though she is speaking directly to you. She tells her own painful story and comforts her reader in doing so. Ms.Simon tells of many other women's experiences of losing their fathers so the reader gets many different perspectives on father/daughter relationships and how these daughters dealt with losing their fathers.
Fatherless Women, for me, chronicled all the feelings I had felt, did feel and would feel during the grieving process. I was very comforted by this book. It made me feel I was part of a group so I stopped feeling so alone and isolated. It made me familiar with my feelings so I could give a name to what I am/was going through.
Her book is an easy to read, informative, reassuring and very personable account of one of the most difficult things women go through.
I would not have been able to begin my healing without this book. I thank you from the depths of my soul, Clea Simon.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moving through grief to growth 10 Oct. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Fatherless Women" explores what for many of us will be a scary, and challenging journey: Growing up from "good girls" to become "smart women." With lots of stories from dozens of women, it shows us how we grieve -- not always what you'd expect! -- and how, if we let ourselves mourn the death of our fathers, we can learn to appreciate them as humans and then understand all the ways they influenced us. With other stories, we're shown how this new insight not only helps us with our sadness and guilt -- it can also free us to be the women we want to be, taking the best of our fathers' legacies to us and dumping the worst (including our own overreactions). An invaluable guide -- and really affirming of my experience since my dad's passing!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book.. 1 Mar. 2005
By Superwoman AJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My father died almost a year ago and I bought this book in October 2004. I'm still having a hard time reading it; not because it's not easy reading, but because of the depth of emotion it conjures up as it pushes me to reflect on the relationship between me and my dad. No matter how old I get, I will always miss him and wish I could have stayed young and he could've lived forever. I think when I get to the end of this book, I will have gone through more healing through my grief. It's that kind of book..
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 3 Oct. 2011
By K. L. Hanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
None of my friends have lost their fathers. This book REALLY helped me process the grief, the hole in my psyche that his death caused, and how little things like buying a new stereo can tear a hole in your heart without your dad there. I recently had major storm damage to my house that required a new roof, and got totally hosed by the insurance company AND the roofers. They would have NEVER messed with Dad! And I bought a TV and felt so LOST without Dad's advice, he knew SO much about all things electronic. He was always on my side. It's hard to have the absence of his presence as Guardian Angel of All Things Mechanical and Otherwise without tears. And there were the big bear hugs. How do you part with the only man on the planet that thinks you rock? God, I miss my Dad. This book really helped me cope when I didn't have anyone else with real-time experience to talk to. Would recommend it to anyone who has loved and lost their Dad.
56 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This author needs a therapist, not a book contract 27 Feb. 2005
By Traci Marathon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I tried to read this book after the death of my Dad due to a long battle with cancer. This author can only "help" or more accurately share stories of how dysfunctional her relationship with her father was, and how promiscuous she was, what a bad friend she was to those around her, rather than actually tell you anything about what life is like after the death of a father that you had a healthy relationship with. If you are normal and your father is normal, and you were friends with your father, this book is not for you. If you need therapy and your Dad needs therapy, here is clearly the book for you.

This book is full of sweeping generalizations to validate the author's bad decisions in the relationships in her life. It is not backed up with any research or facts of any kind. She should have bought a journal and written about the bad relationship in private rather than publish it. Please do not buy this book.
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