The Bottom Line
If there's anything better than being a grandmother, it's sharing the experience with a whole raft of wise and witty women friends. Reading Eye of My Heart is like that. You'll laugh, you'll cry, your heart will break. And you'll gain a greater appreciation of the complexities of being a grandmother.
- Great sample of writers
- Shows pleasures and problems
- Nice variety of experiences
- Not a book of practical advice
- Edited by Barbara Graham
- Introduction by Mary Pipher, Ph.D.
- Published by HarperCollins
- 300 pages
- List price $24.99
- Paperback available
Becoming a grandmother is easy. It's someone else who is in labor. One second you're a mother and the next--a grandmother, and a grandmother in love with her grandchild. It seems as if the rest of one's life should be bathed in a rosy glow. Instead the realization slowly dawns that family conflicts and long dormant resentments are not going to be washed away by the flood of baby love.
Those are the two major themes that imbue Eye of My Heart, the book subtitled, "27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother." Almost every writer describes an immediate, visceral connection with that first newborn grandchild, a connection which my friends and I have also experienced, but haven't described nearly so well. A short while later, however, the serpent enters Paradise. The serpent can take the form of old conflicts, physical separations and a host of other complications.
Unlike The Art of Grandparenting, a similar collection of essays, this book doesn't contain advice. It doesn't offer solutions. What it does do is let women know that they are not alone on their grandmothering journeys, that they are not the first to be reluctant grandmothers, to lose their temper with their grandchildren, to have to grandmother across the miles or to cope with any one of the myriad challenges that life throws in our paths.
As a young mother, I looked forward to reading Judith Viorst in Redbook. I knew Letty Cottin Pogrebin as one of the founders of Ms. I told my friends that Judith Guest's Ordinary People was the best book I had ever read. How wonderful it is that these friends of my younger years are still with me on this leg of my journey.