“I am not there, I did not die”
What happens if your beloved mother dies? In “Things I want my daughters to know”, written by Elisabeth Noble, the four daughters have to deal with this hardship.
The 60-year-old mother of four daughters, Barbara, dies due to cancer. She leaves each of the daughters a letter, in which she gives them advice, comfort and she also reveals a secret nobody knows. Jennifer, the second-born daughter, additionally receives a diary. In her diary she describes her experiences as a mother, as a daughter and as a loving wife. Furthermore, she had written down her thoughts and feelings after she learned about her illness. Despite their mother’s death, their own lives go on and they have to face many problems. Lisa, the first-born child, is afraid of getting married to her boyfriend. 37-year old Jennifer finds herself in an unhappy marriage. 24-year-old Amanda runs away whenever problems arise. Fifteen-year-old Hannah reaches puberty without her mother at her side. Barbara’s second husband Mark, Hannah’s father, has a tough time looking after his child while dealing with the pain of losing his beloved wife. Will they all be able to cope with their situations? As time goes on, they realise that Barbara lives on in their memories.
Although the story may sound sorrowful, there are also cheerful parts. It shows you the ups and downs of life, just like in reality. Apart from their own individual problems, the story shows you the strong bonding of family. In difficult times, family members will support you, even if you have made stupid mistakes, they will still love you. This book makes you think about your family, which you should treasure. The whole story is very emotional. The dialogues between the characters are very lively and witty. It is a good idea to “create” four daughters who are in different stages of their lives. Each of them has different problems, which are partly typical of their age. Therefore, a wide range of readers can put themselves in the characters’ shoes. There is a great character development. Each of the main characters matures through coping with difficulties.
This is an entertaining and heart-warming story that would appeal to most females, not only teenagers, but also adults. It is undoubtedly worth reading.