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“Either in the joy of her caring or the sorrow of her criticism, women find healing. Grandmother is rarely a neutral moniker.” Valerie Kack-Brice

I purchased For She is the Tree of Life: Grandmothers Through the Eyes of Women Writers, edited by Valerie Kack-Brice, several years ago, but the time wasn’t right for reading it. Last week that time came, and I spent an entire day with this lovely collection of essays, poems, and other writings about all things grandmotherly. I found my grandmothers here more than once, both in the prose and in the wonderful black and white photographs. There is wisdom here, and poignancy, yearning for what could never be and remembering what had been. Maya Angelou tells about her Grandmother Henderson; M. F. K. Fisher writes about food and “Grandmother’s Nervous Stomach”.

To help us discover our own grandmothers — and ourselves — the last section of the book is “Bone of My Bones: A Grandmother Workbook”, with a series of topic questions to answer as we write our own impressions of our grandmother.

Whether you are already a grandmother and not quite sure where you fit in, or if you are grieving grandmothers long gone, this is a wonderful book. Take your time; let it sink in. Do the reflections at the back of the book. It will do you good.

2015 Reading Goal: 6/50.