This 2009 release from former Essence editor asha bandele is a follow-up to her memoir The Prisoner’s Wife and recounts bandele’s experiences as a single mother combating drinking and depression. I struggled to relate to her as the wife of a imprisoned man, then as a mother to his child, until I read this passage:
“I would have to ask myself this question, and find the heart to answer it:
Had I ever really loved myself? Had I ever handed myself over to myself, whole and complete, willing and wanting…wide open and without barrier?
…Had anything worked either its magic or science and moved me closer to the place where I could claim my own heart, my own desires, and my own needs?
Did I ever commit to myself the way I did to others, and if I didn’t then why not? And if I didn’t, is that why I found myself in my thirties still trying to stand, years after I could have sworn I had taught myself to run?” – asha bandele, Something Like Beautiful 2009.
What mother doesn’t want the absolute best for her daughter? And what daughter doesn’t – at some point – contemplate her mother’s choices as she makes her own? As the publisher’s site notes, “[Something Like Beautiful offers] a vision of hope for all women struggling to keep it together on their own.” Don’t miss this lovely, lyrical read.
Image courtesy of HarperCollins; brief excerpt reprinted with permission