Shadow Daughter: A Memoir of Estrangement by Harriet Brown


Shadow Daughter tackles a painful subject we rarely discuss as a culture: family estrangements.

The day of her mother's funeral, Harriet Brown was five thousand miles away. To say that Harriet and her mother had a difficult relationship is a wild understatement; the older Harriet grew, the more estranged they became.

By the time Harriet's mom died at age 76, they were out of contact.

Yet Harriet felt her death deeply, embarking on an exploration of what family estrangement means—to those who cut off contact, to those who are estranged, to the friends and family members who are on the sidelines.

In addition to her own brave personal narrative, Harriet employs interviews with others who are estranged, as well as recent research on family estrangement in order to open up discourse on the emotional experience that is estrangement.

It is a thoughtful, deeply researched, and engaging exploration of the ties that bind and break, forgiveness, reconciliation, and what family really means. It is a must read for anyone with tangled family relations.

To learn more about Harriet Brown and Shadow Daughter, please visit their website.

Books, MotherhoodErin Bagwell