Someone Not Really Her Mother by Harriet Scott Chessman

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Synopsis

The captivating story of a contemporary American family, in which three generations of women confront the intricacies of memory, geography, and motherhood, from the lauded author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper

As Hannah Pearl’s memories of her 1940 escape to England from war-torn France come to the foreground of her consciousness, her memory of her more recent American life, including her relationships with her daughter and granddaughters, is almost erased. Her daughter, Miranda, attempts to bring her mother into the present and the daily activities of family life, yet finds herself instead pulled into Hannah’s unresolved past. Miranda’s daughters confront the shadows of history in their own ways. Fiona, content with her life as a new mother, tries to ignore the ghostly presence of Hannah’s family, who perished in the war, while Ida clings to Hannah’s revelations as if they form a lifeline. Facing the mystery of Hannah’s unspoken memories of grief, each woman must ask how well anyone can know the inner life of another person, even of someone one cherishes.

 

About Harriet Scott Chessman

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Harriet Scott Chessman is the author of the acclaimed novels Ohio Angels and Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper as well as The Public Is Invited to Dance, a book about Gertrude Stein. Formerly an associate professor of English and women s studies at Yale University, she has also taught literature and writing at Bread Loaf School of English and Wesleyan University, and has published several essays on modern literature.
 
Published August 19, 2004 by Dutton Adult. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War. Fiction

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Hannah's ongoing encounters with unrecognizable yet familiar family members convey a quiet, heartbreaking grace as they digress into memories of loss undiscussed for years: Hannah's departure from France as a teenager in the 1930s, the loss of her family in the Holocaust, her marriage to an Engli...

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