Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Buzz: Mean Mothers by Peg Streep

Here is a book for women raised by emotionally absent mothers. Peg Streep draws on scientific research, interviews, and personal stories to suggest reasons why unloving mothers might be the way that they are. She stresses the importance of approaching these questions from a multi-generational angle. Most importantly, care is taken to explain how damaged mother-daughter relationships affect the psychological make-up of the daughters. Streep discusses a wide range of emotional unavailability and expounds on what this means for unmothered daughters when they grow up and have kids, particularly daughters, of their own.

The sibling relationship is also examined and explanations are offered for why children from the same family often have wildly different stories about their childhoods and about what kind of people their parents were. Streep points out that some mothers are emotionally available to some children, but not all, and she describes how this factors into the sibling bonds or lack thereof.

The entire presentation is both fascinating and validating. If any part of this summary resonates with you, there is something for you in this book.


  1. just saw an interview on ABC morning news. picked up the book at my library and i'm starting to really understand why i have had some of the relationship problems i've faced. very enlightening read!

  2. Hi Anonymous. I agree. There were many things in the book that I had never considered. The main thing I took away was that I was not alone. For me, this was huge.