The Womb in Which I Lay
Mothers and daughters have a relationship that in its intensity is unlike any other. Pauline Perry explores the love, grief and guilt that form the relationships between mothers and daughters. This is a book for all women; a moving, intelligent and understanding exploration of the bond daughters have with their mothers in their lives and that they continue to share even after their mother’s death.
The Womb in Which I Lay draws on the author’s painful experiences following the death of her own mother. The response to a television documentary made about her process of grief demonstrated the deep need many women have to understand the meaning of the mother-daughter bond, and the way in which loss can change that bond. In mourning the death of their mother many women have found her in a new way, funding a peace in their own feminine identity as never before.
Drawing on the movingly frank stories of ten remarkable and successful women to depict the triumph of love over guilt and grief within the relationship. It is also a story of how far women have come since the 1950s, as the first generation of women to be career-oriented and sexually free often found that the freedoms and opportunities they enjoyed but which had been denied to their mother’s generation could cause a major gulf in the relationship.
Pauline Perry is a leading educationalist, a former President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, and has been a life peer since 1991 as the Baroness Perry of Southwark.
“Drawing on literature, the author’s own grief on the death of her mother, and conversations with successful career women, this book explores the love and guilt, the search for identity and growth, and that step beyond grief and mourning when the daughter re-finds the mother she has lost.”
“The book is a beautiful record of what Pauline feels for her dead mother and for her daughter… this wonderful feeling that like Russian dolls, we’re all inside each other: inside us are our mothers, our grandmothers, our greatgrandmothers, all these generations of women who came before us, and there shall be a little bit of us in all the generations which come ahead.”