'I feel I'm beginning a love letter. I'm saying things I could not have expressed even a year ago because there was a barrier between us. It collapses today in hospital when I hold my mother's hand and stroke her hair, and she says, Do you love me? I've often wondered. '
So begins Jenni Murray's memoir as she visits her desperately ill parent. She is not, she acknowledges, the only woman to have had a difficult relationship with her mother, yet family history and the times in which they live seem to militate against any prospect of a true reconciliation between them.
Benefiting from the women's movement and the chance to go to university and have a career, Jenni was able to break free from her mother's constraints, but never from her influence. While remaining determined to go her own way, she has always felt a sense of guilt: she has been a 'not so dutiful daughter'. And then, after she began her memoir, Jenni's life took a distinctly downward turn. Her mother and father died within six monts of each other, and she found that she had breast cancer.
This book is a diary of that terrible year - and an extraordinarily honest and confessional exploration of a universally complex relationship: that of a daughter and her mother, and a daughter and her father. Download and start listening now!