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Abigail Thomas

4 Memoirs that separate mothering and smothering

in Nonfiction by

With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, there’s no better time to read about the often ambivalent relationships between mothers and daughters. There’s a growing shelf of autobiographies dwelling on the complexities of the mother-child bond. Below we’ve chosen four terrific memoirs that illuminate that fine line between mothering and smothering. The Year My Mother Came Back, by Alice Eve Cohen (2015) There’s gentle magic realism in this mother-daughter memoir. The year of the title has two meanings: first was the last year of Louise Cohen’s life, when she and Alice reached a détente in their tense relationship. But then, nearly three decades later, Louise kept “coming back” during the difficult year that forms the kernel of the memoir—a year…

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