Personal memories of the sort her Chatelaine readers adored — a remarkable life story seen through the window of her relationship with her mother.
Every woman’s relationship with her mother is special. Yet everyone will recognize some parts of another woman’s story, especially if it is told as honestly and as sensitively as Rona Maynard tells it here.
As a little girl, Maynard soon came to see that her family was not an ordinary one. Her father, Max, was an artist and an alcoholic. Her mother was Fredelle Maynard, a brilliant academic who could not get a teaching job because she was a woman. Instead she became a writer — the author of Raisins and Almonds — and, above all, a driving, loving, ambitious, overpowering mother.
In her shadow (and that of younger sister Joyce, who went off at eighteen to live with J.D. Salinger) Rona took time to blossom as a writer and editor in Toronto. This book takes us through her career, step by step, including the miseries of being accused by her son’s teachers — and her own mother — of being a bad mother, overly concerned with her own career.
Rona’s strong, direct style will ring true for every working woman. Through the magic of her writing, she gives a clear-eyed and affectionate account of her relationship with a demanding, loving mother.
I said to my father, "You don’t live here any more. This is Mother’s house, not yours. It’s time for you to go."
My father cursed me. He shook his fist. Then he left and never came back.
—From My Mother’s Daughter
Born in New Hampshire of Canadian parents, Rona Maynard went to the University of Toronto, where she met and married Paul Jones. A career in journalism, including a spell at Maclean’s, led in time to her becoming editor of Chatelaine in 1995, where she attracted a new generation of readers to the most enduringly successful magazine in Canada. A freelance writer since she left Chatelaine in 2004, she is also a professional lecturer who is much in demand. She lives in Toronto.
“My Mother’s Daughter is a wonderfully honest and enthralling book.”
— Alice Munro
“…a searingly honest accounting that makes for a most compelling read….In My Mother’s Daughter, Rona Maynard shows a substantive talent, using elegant, evocative and disciplined prose, surpassing her mother’s prosaic and pragmatic style.” – Toronto Star
“Maynard hasn’t written this memoir from behind the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. Every character who makes an appearance in her memoir is a fully sketched human, the flaws no less visible than the positive attributes. She doesn’t shy away from portraying honest family difficulties…. Maynard writes honestly and unselfconsciously, without coming off as malicious. No, the people in her life are not perfect, but My Mother’s Daughter stands as a firm testament to the fact that they were still valued, and deservedly so.” — Quill & Quire
“My Mother’s Daughter is a searingly honest, often indignant look at life with high-powered parents and at the rivalries, resentments and deeply felt bonds of the mother-daughter relationship….Maynard’s account of life as a satellite in her mother’s orbit, of family friction, frenzied hopes and hard-won accomplishment is laced with both satisfaction and leftover vexation.” — London Free Press
“My Mother’s Daughter is a beautifully told story…” — Globe and Mail
“My Mother’s Daughter — part personal memoir, part family history — is the compelling story of [a] loving, abrasive, mother-daughter relationship….It’s also a mvoing tribute to the unswerving, often unnerving matriarchal passion that powered one family’s Canadian odyssey from shtetl to Bay Street in three vibrant generations.” — Globe and Mail