My Mama's Waltz by Eleanor Agnew
A Book for Daughters of Alcoholic Mothers

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



We spent our childhoods and teen years waltzing psychologically with our alcoholic mothers, fearfully taking whatever symbolic steps were necessary to keep from accidentally stepping on their toes...

With stunning honesty, "My Mama's Waltz" brings to light the painful legacy of daughters of alcoholic mothers-- in the first book to focus solely on this fractured relationship. Eleanor Agnew and Sharon Robideaux share their own personal accounts along with the memories and experiences of hundreds of women, from all ages and backgrounds, in an intimate and powerful narrative journey. Individually, their voices are courageous and unforgettable; together, they rise in a resounding chorus of support and compassion, confirming that women who deal with the remnants of a childhood cut short by an alcoholic mother are not alone.

The outpouring of emotion expressed in "My Mama's Waltz" reflects how daughters, more so than sons, are forced to tend to a drunken mother, care for younger siblings, and endure a mother's abuse or abandonment. We may see ourselves or women close to us in the common outlooks, the obstacles and personal difficulties faced by adult daughters, or in the wellspring of conflicted emotion released by an alcoholic mother's death. We may recognize the shattered mother-daughter dynamic whose grip is felt into adulthood, or relate to the childhood fantasy, never completely lost, to have come from a "perfect" family.

But through these common bonds come hope, understanding, and the ability to reconcile the past. Ultimately, "My Mama's Waltz" offers tremendous emotional support to those wishing to overcome the alcoholic mother's destructive influences and create a happy, fulfilled life. The brave women heard here affirm that the pain can be healed... and a daughter's heart made whole at last.


About Eleanor Agnew

See more books from this Author
Eleanor Agnew (left) is an associate professor of English at Georgia Southern University. She has been an editor and columnist for regional news magazines, and has presented her published academic works at national conferences. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.
Published April 1, 1998 by Atria. 336 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for My Mama's Waltz

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

The first part of the book is devoted to painful anecdotes of drunken mothers at their best and at their worst, the second and third parts to the consequences of growing up with angry and bitter mothers who took their pain out on their children.

| Read Full Review of My Mama's Waltz: A Book for D...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Academics Agnew (English, Georgia Southern) and Robideaux (writing, Univ. of Missouri) are also offspring of alcoholic mothers. They recount stories of their childhoods as well as the experiences of s

Mar 30 1998 | Read Full Review of My Mama's Waltz: A Book for D...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

However debatable that contention, the authors argue convincingly that a drunken mother is more hurtful to a daughter than to a son, whose prescribed social role is to seek independence, whereas it's traditionally anticipated that a daughter will bond with her mother and use her as a role model.

| Read Full Review of My Mama's Waltz: A Book for D...

Reader Rating for My Mama's Waltz

An aggregated and normalized score based on 17 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review