Rona Maynard


A Memoir

“My Mother’s Daughter is a wonderfully honest and enthralling book.”

Alice Munro

Rona Maynard’s opening line goes straight to the core of the mother-daughter relationship: “My mother gave birth to me twice. The first time is a matter of record. The second, almost forty years later, took place at her deathbed.”

A woman’s identity is forged in her relationship with her mother, whether it is strong and loving or fraught with conflict. Rona Maynard is beautifully suited to illuminating this journey from daughter to woman.

Her enthralling, imposing mother, Fredelle Maynard, struggled to find a place for herself, just as the women’s movement was blossoming in the 1960s. Armed with a Radcliffe PhD, Fredelle was denied an academic post, along with other women in her class. She turned to writing articles for American women’s magazines while maintaining the 1950s ideal of mommy whipping up cookies.

Meanwhile, she faced another disappointment: her gifted, charismatic husband, an artist and professor, was an alcoholic. She lavished all her hopes on her daughters: Joyce, the family charmer, and Rona, the rebel, who came to cherish and accept her mother after many years of furious resistance.

Joyce Maynard carved her own path, earning success as an author and notoriety through her life with the famously reclusive writer J.D. Salinger.

Rona Maynard has her own significant achievements. For ten years, she was the editor of Canada’s leading women’s magazine, Chatelaine. She continues to write a column and to speak to women’s groups. With My Mother’s Daughter, her narrative and stylistic gifts will mark her as an exceptional writer of great insight to be enjoyed by those who admire the sharply perceptive prose of Joan Didion or Alice Munro.

McClelland & Stewart Canada 2007