"I found this book very meaningful. It moved me, and I recommend it to any woman who thinks of her father as the man that got away." –Barbra Streisand
As Elyce Wakerman found in the scores of interviews she conducted, the loss of a father— through death, divorce, or abandonment—is the event that shapes a girl’s life and all her future relationships. “In my fantasy,” one woman commented, “he remains the perfect, all-giving man”—a difficult role for any other man to fill. Based partly on the author’s experience, partly on her in-depth interviews, and partly on a questionnaire she developed with psychologist Holly Barrett to which almost six hundred women responded, Father Loss provides the clearest portrait yet of a very special group of women. Chapters include:
- A Subject I Can Speak of: “My Father Died When I Was Three”
- A Subject of Research: The Father-Daughter Relationship
- A Parody of Incest: Women Who Never Knew Their Fathers
- A Face Not Even a Father Could Love: Daughters of Paternal Suicide
- My Mother—the Widow, the Divorcée—Myself: Mother as Head of the Household
- Make Room for the New Daddy: Stepfathers
- It’s the Child That Makes the Woman: Self-image and Others
- A Match Made in Heaven…or Elsewhere: Attitudes Toward Marriage and the Family
- Women with Wounds That Will Not Heal
- And more!
As a group, they express their insecurities (“Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be able to love a man totally . . . because that would mean I didn’t love my father anymore.” —Leslie). Yet individually, many have become outstanding achievers, including Eleanor Roosevelt (“He dominated my life as long as he lived and was the love of my life for years after he died.”), Helen Gurney Brown (“People in business, my bosses, I look to them all as fathers.”), Barbara Streisand, Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferraro and many others.
A bestseller when it was first published twenty-five years ago and now updated and revised, Father Loss
gives information and insight to fatherless daughters, to widows and divorcees with daughters, and to every father who needs to understand the vital role he plays in his daughter’s life—as the first man she ever loves.