The book is a collection of tales and memories that the women shared with their mothers, and the way their parents shaped their lives and experiences.
Co-authors Addesso, Lori Toppel, Susan Hodara and Joan Potter formed a weekly writing group in 2006, where they discovered that their memories could be the focus of a book. Through this group, they found their understanding of their mothers deepen.
“The stories I wrote were scattered,” Addesso said. “They wandered through time and place. It wasn’t until years later, in our small writers group that I found my way back.”
Addesso had a 15-year career in museum education, and spent a decade being a full-time mother before devoting herself to writing. She began writing memoir in 1998 and is currently working on a collection of short stories. She has been published by Damselfly Press and works part-time gathering research for the Treeture Environmental Education Program.
Potter had published several books and has been featured in magazines and newspapers. She edited “Growing Up Strong: Four North Country Women Recall Their Lives,” and has developed memoir workshops around the state.
A University of California graduate, Toppel was a staff writer and editor at The Designer and earned a fellowship while participating in a master’s program at Columbia University.
Hodara works as a free-lance journalist covering the arts for publications including The New York Times, Communication Arts and Harvard Magazine. She has been writing memoir for more than a decade and has been published multiple times. She currently conducts memoir workshops at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in Sleepy Hollow.
Toppel said that the book should evoke positive memories of family from readers.
“Hopefully, women who read this book will see it as a gateway to revisit treasured moments, pass by the anger and resentment and discover their mothers’ good intentions,” she said. “Readers may end up thinking about their relationships with their mothers in a very different way and perhaps reevaluating them as we did.”
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