Synopses & Reviews
No relationship is more fulfilling, infuriating, emotional, and problematic than that of mother and daughter. Now, in a work filled with truth, surprises, and humor, renowned psychologist and author Martha Manning offers mothers and daughters of all ages a new way to understand each other. Challenging the accepted premise that this powerful bond must be severed for emotional growth, Manning shows us why this precious attachment is never outgrown, how, if it is damaged, it can be healed, and what will enrich this lifelong commitment while fostering essential independence. The key is empathy, and Manning provides potent tools to help us build stronger ties and celebrate the crazy twists, joys, and secrets inherent in this most glorious of life connections.
Combining personal experiences and scrupulous research, The Common Thread helps each of us develop a mutually empowering relationship -- and laugh, too -- as we more deeply connect with and appreciate the mother or daughter we love.
"Humor, candor, and a respect for the power of image and metaphor to heal." Philadelphia Inquirer
“A convincing testament to the inexorable cruelty of depression and a frightening reminder of its unprejudiced choice of victims.” New York Times Book Review
“An engaging look at how to become actively empathetic.” Kirkus Reviews
"Full of unexpected delights...honest, hilarious, full of hope." Dallas Morning News
"A moving and engaging journal....I found myself laughing out loud." Washington Post
"Poignant, witty, often caustic... Manning's meditations will appeal to thoughtful readers of every persuasion." Library Journal
"An absolutely absorbing read." USA Today
Traditional psychology has emphasized the importance of a child's growth away from its parent for fulfillment as a self-sufficient adult. But in this sensitive and thought-provoking work, Dr. Martha Manning uses her experience as a clinical psychologist, mother, daughter, and "champion eavesdropper" to explore the all-important empathic bond between mothers and daughters. As Dr. Manning shows, mothers and daughters are not meant to outgrow their attachment to each other; rather, a successful empathic tie is the key to true independence.
In this work of substance, heart, wit, and intelligence, Dr. Manning weaves together research, telling anecdotes, examples from literature and memoir, and moving personal reflections to present a rich, multilayered portrait of the ever-evolving mother-daughter relationship -- a celebration of what can and should be a dynamic, fluid, and mutually empowering bond.
About the Author
Martha Manning, Ph.D., is a writer, clinical psychologist, and former professor of psychology at George Mason University. She is the author of Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface; Chasing Grace: Reflections of a Catholic Girl, Grown Up; and All Seasons Pass: Grieving Miscarriage. Manning has been recognized by the National Institutes of Mental Health for her work in education and advocacy and was awarded the American Psychiatric Association 1996 Presidential Award for Patient Advocacy. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Ladies' Home Journal, and New Woman. She has been featured on Dateline NBC, Good Morning America, C-SPAN, The Early Show, NPR's "Voice of America," and other radio and television programs.