"But why???" the child asks.
"Because I said so," says Mom.
I've been on both sides of this conversation. This second answer, however, doesn't satisfy my oldest, who presses for details. Then, I have to respond, "You don't have to know everything." Still, I'm sure every mother has said this famous phrase. This book has 33 stories written by 33 intelligent women who happen to be mothers.
Stories cover the gamut of breaking cultural rules, losing a successful business and starting over, dealing with divorce, moving to a foreign country and leaving your children behind, facing a difficult situation when the kids love the nanny as much as the mother, and other topics that many of us would never dream of confronting. For those who have faced such situations, these stories remind us we're not alone.
I don't know how to do these stories justice with this review. I feel like a friend sitting across from the author of the story, telling her tale as if I were her best friend because of the intimate details she shares. The stories don't have a hint of whining children, male bashing, or "woe is me" moaning. After reading a story, don't be surprised if you wish you could meet the author and become her friend.
Instead, meet a Muslim woman who deals with the stigma of having a child out of wedlock in "The Scarlet Letter Z." Meet a woman whose father killed himself when she was young and she didn't find out till eight years later — then her own husband was killed leaving her a widow at 34-years-old with a child on the way in "On Giving Hope." Meet a woman who arranged to have a dinner with her husband at a five-star restaurant and everything prior to the event goes wrong as she explains, "Why I Can Never Go Back to the French Laundry."