Grandmotherland: Exploring the Myths and Realities

Author(s) : Judith Edwards

Grandmotherland: Exploring the Myths and Realities

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 176
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 96567
  • ISBN 13 : 9781913494773
  • ISBN 10 : 9781913494

Reviews and Endorsements

This is an area ripe for exploration.
Hilary Mantel

Wow! ... I found I romped through it, fascinated by finding so many pleasant and painful representations of myself and stimulated by those who had found grandmotherdom a quite different realm from my own. As for flavour, it reminds me of my grandmother's butterscotch, kept locked in a cupboard, definitely delicious but never enough ...
Juliet Hopkins, Ph.D , former ACP consultant child psychotherapist and author of An Independent Mind

This wise book is filled with wonderful stories, some disturbing and many touching and inspiring, all blended seamlessly with deep reflections on their meaning for human evolution and development. It is beautifully written too.
Anne Alvarez, Ph.D, MACP, Consultant child and adolescent psychotherapist

I cannot think of any child, parent, or grandparent who would not be utterly gripped by this extremely original and enlightening book, written with such warmth and wisdom. Dr Judith Edwards has made a truly great contribution to family psychology.
Professor Brett Kahr, Senior Fellow, Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London, and Honorary Director of Research, Freud Museum London

A remarkable wide-ranging study of the meaning of grandmotherhood across the centuries and across many cultures. Judith Edwards draws on literature, folk tales, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and a variety of personal accounts of relationships with grandmothers and of becoming grandmothers in turn. It is also an unsettling read, as it aims to get beyond the familiar myths of idealised and demonised grandmothers, to disturb our too-easy resort to stereotypes. It will repay its readers with unexpected and stimulating insights and Edwards’ characteristic pleasure in bringing together highly diverse ways to understand human lives.
Margaret Rustin, Honorary Consultant Child Psychotherapist, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

What a journey! Grandmotherland is indeed a fascinating opening into the world of grandmothers. It reveals a privileged window through to the thoughts, feelings and voices that may not often be heard, of different human experiences in what can be a complicated family landscape for three generations.

Within this book is a wholesome space for discovering the many colours, nuances, similarities and differences associated with grannies/nanas/nonnas/babcias. Tales of love, altruism and discovery, along with the exhaustion and overwhelm of grandmothers coming to the rescue, as they surely have done for hundreds of years.

Grandchildren tell of their experiences too, illuminating the feelings of young children, who maybe now as adults, have words to describe what they couldn’t put a name to in their childhood but, which have nevertheless shaped their lives.

We also follow the poignant and honest accounts from women who do not have grandchildren.

Written by a psychotherapist, it is hard to read these stories without an internal reckoning taking place within oneself: Where do I stand in all this? Goodness I couldn’t possibly do that! And maybe an acknowledgment of those whispering feminine senses from which decisions are made and lives are shaped. The bravery of women sings throughout.
5 star Amazon review from Mrs K H Tudor-Hart

I received this excellent book for Xmas. As the late, great Hilary Mantel rightly says: its subject “is an area ripe for exploration” - that's the book in a nutshell. It’s a highly perceptive analysis of one of the oldest and most important family relationships: the wise, proxy mother with her grandchild, bringing her maturity to bear on the less experienced mother-child bond. A fruitful subject for its distinguished psychologist author to explore in professional detail. It’s a real surprise the topic hasn’t been explored before. A unique and valuable contribution to family and child psychology.
Amazon review, 2024

Grandmotherland is a recently published book by psychologist Judith Edwards, which made me think more about my role as a grandmother and about those long-gone grandparents from my past. [...] After reading this book, it's important to allow time for reflection... Even non-grandparents can learn more about family dynamics, past and future. And therapists can integrate some of the ideas into their practices.
Norma Jean Bishop, Grapevine Magazine, Feb 2024

I enjoyed reading Grandmotherland. I must confess to feeling shocked and saddened by all the stories of grandparents and grandchildren banned from seeing each other. I hadn’t realised how often this happens. The chapter about cultural influences and differences was fascinating. I am sure many grannies or families will be helped by this. I liked the book so much, I have already gifted several copies to friends. It deserves a wide readership.
Lee Marsden, former editor of Educational Psychotherapy and Therapeutic Teaching

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