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Connie Easterbrook
My daughter, myself
Grief and mourning are taboo subjects-in our society, so how do you interact with the world after your daughter dies in a tragic car accident. My Daughter, Myself is Connie Easterbrook’s journey towards understanding the complex relationship she had with her daughter, Simone, and the complicated grief that ensued.
Easterbrook explores, with rare sensitivity and insight, grief, loss, and motherhood in this memoir crafted both to capture the “inner light” of her late daughter, Simone, and to share with readers what she’s learned about living on after bereavement. With a loving pen, Easterbrook offers an intimate portrait of daughter Simone, first exploring her “passionate, vibrant” eldest daughter with reflections on her personality, quirks, and virtues, but also delving into the challenges of parenting a child with ADHD, especially in a world that abhors “difference.” The insight into family dynamics connects readers to Easterbrook and her daughter, especially as Easterbrook acknowledges that “anxiety about Simone was my constant companion throughout her life.”

Simone died in a car accident at 21, a wrenching event that came at a fraught time for mother and daughter both. Easterbrook narrates the tensions in their relationships before the accident and the devastating aftermath with clear eyes, striking detail, and lots of heart, laying bare feelings of guilt, anger, shame—and “motherguilt.” Throughout, as she recounts navigating and managing incalculable loss, she invites readers to learn from what she’s faced, such as the hard-won comforts and insights she discovered in faith, support groups, and her reading. She explores her own past and parentage, and examines a violent relationship with a boy from her own teen years, noting the “footprint” trauma leaves on the soul—and taking relief that her own daughter avoided “similar bad choices.”

A delight for readers are the images of Simone’s artwork, and photographs of the family. Elsewhere, Easterbrook digs deeply into other losses, exploring how grief is always keyed to the specifics of individuals and their relationships, and her own tendency to push grief away. She writes with disarming openness about depression and anger, doubt and confusion, mining from her own experience and studies a wealth of practical advice (seek support, practice self-compassion) for readers experiencing their own journeys of loss.

Takeaway: This powerful memoir offers practical advice and insight for parents facing grief.

Great for fans of: September Vaudrey’s Colors of Goodbye, Megan Devine’s It’s OK that You’re Not OK.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A