adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.00

Buy for $17.00

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

“You will devour these beautifully written - and very important - tales of honesty, pain, and resilience” (Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times best-selling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls) from 15 brilliant writers who explore how what we don’t talk about with our mothers affects us, for better or for worse.

As an undergraduate, Michele Filgate started writing an essay about being abused by her stepfather. It took her more than a decade to realize that she was actually trying to write about how this affected her relationship with her mother. When it was finally published, the essay went viral, shared on social media by Anne Lamott, Rebecca Solnit, and many others. This gave Filgate an idea, and the resulting anthology offers a candid look at our relationships with our mothers.

Leslie Jamison writes about trying to discover who her seemingly perfect mother was before ever becoming a mom. In Cathi Hanauer’s hilarious piece, she finally gets a chance to have a conversation with her mother that isn’t interrupted by her domineering (but lovable) father. André Aciman writes about what it was like to have a deaf mother. Melissa Febos uses mythology as a lens to look at her close-knit relationship with her psychotherapist mother. And Julianna Baggott talks about having a mom who tells her everything.

As Filgate writes, “Our mothers are our first homes, and that’s why we’re always trying to return to them.” There’s relief in acknowledging how what we couldn’t say for so long is a way to heal our relationships with others and, perhaps most important, with ourselves.

Contributions by Cathi Hanauer, Melissa Febos, Alexander Chee, Dylan Landis, Bernice L. McFadden, Julianna Baggott, Lynn Steger Strong, Kiese Laymon, Carmen Maria Machado, André Aciman, Sari Botton, Nayomi Munaweera, Brandon Taylor, and Leslie Jamison.

The complete list of narrators includes: Michele Filgate, Fajer Al-Kaisi, Roger Casey, Janina Edwards, Emily Ellet, Cynthia Farrell, Soneela Nankani, David Sadzin, Keong Sim, and Candace Thaxton.

©2019 Michele Filgate (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about What My Mother and I Don't Talk About

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    76
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Now I’m healing

To understand your pain you must be able to understand others’. While they are not replicas of your story, you will find shattered pieces of yourself in them. For me, I cried intensely within the first 15 minutes. I didn’t come back to these pages for a few weeks. I took baby steps. Now I’m healing.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Worthy Read

It's a heavy read, but a healing read. To hear the variety of stories was powerful to me.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A daunting task

Looking into one's life after 66 years can be a dauting task...Thanks for showing me it is possible and maybe!!! required.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Must read- stunning writing.

This book was captivating, heartfelt and moving. I found myself relating to characters, crying with them, feeling what they felt. I was sucked in completely, and have rewritten my own thoughts on my mother. This book is great for anyone who doesn’t understand their maternal relationship, or needs a new way to define it. Thank you- to all 15 writers. You have helped me understand the notion of maternal love.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

Incredible. I’m amazed by how well and emotion full these essays were. Everyone wrote with such raw honesty fearless of how it would be perceived.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

will probably make you feel grateful

I expected the book to have deep stories with complicated relationships, but oh my lanta... it would have been nice to sprinkle happy/funny/in hindsight tales of a mother daughter relationship. Every story, had a deep dark take. I expected some laughs and tears, it was just tears and "oh mys" I barely finished it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen.

Amazing stories! As an audiobook it was sometimes hard to discern who the reader was talking about, but the stories were well developed and filled with emotion. Recommend for anyone with a interesting or difficult relationship with their mother.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Something for everyone

I found this book to be something for everyone - a lot of different experiences and stories. What I didn’t like is one of the women’s voices that was annoying and read in a weird manner. That’s why I marked this down.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Broke my heart over and over

Being the product of a wonderful mother-daughter relationship, I found this anthology sad and depressing, yet it was also oddly uplifting as it revealed the resilience in people to somehow find purpose and love in such emotional deserts and dangerous places. It’s an especially important read for those who have not had the idealized relationship with your mother. You are not alone.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

One sided stories

Some of the stories were valid. Some were a bit windy and only from one point of view

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for khulud khamis
  • khulud khamis
  • 07-19-19

exceptional and brave

I listened to this on Audible over the past month. The reading was excellent. These are brave, personal essays, touching on various issues, most of which we don't talk about as a society. It takes courage to open up one's heart and so publicly talk about what goes on behind closed doors. The essays show how complex, delicate, and fragile are relationships between children and parents. The essays also made me think about all what I didn't have time to talk with my mother about, who passed away six months ago.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Hayley Westwood
  • Hayley Westwood
  • 05-03-22

What My Mother And I Don't Talk About

I listened to 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐌𝐲 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐈 𝐃𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤 𝐀𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭: 𝐅𝐢𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐖𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐁𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐤 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞, edited by Michele Filgate, as an audiobook recently.
-
𝐒𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐚𝐩 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐦𝐲 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐞. 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞𝐧'𝐭 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐭'𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐨 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞.
-
What My Mother And I Don't Talk About is an interesting collection of essays. Each story is unique, but the common theme of hidden secrets, or things left unresolved within families, is woven throughout.
-
𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐲 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 ... 𝐌𝐲 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰. 𝐎𝐫 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐈 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞.
-
To some degree, our parents (and any other people in our lives) will always be unknowable to us, and I don't think it's unusual for people to feel that they don't truly know their parents, or specifically their mothers.
It's very difficult to break away from the parent/child dynamic, even when the child is an adult themselves.
We all have different roles at different points in our lives, and we do suppress elements of ourselves in particular situations.
I imagine when mothers do this, in the same way as when their adult children do this, it is through a desire to protect their loved one in some capacity.
-
𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫. 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧𝐞. 𝐘𝐞𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐦𝐞 𝐚 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐩 ... 𝐈'𝐦 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐜𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐭𝐨𝐨. 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞'𝐬 𝐚 𝐡𝐮𝐠𝐞 𝐬𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬.
-
All of the writers in this collection are honest and quite frank about their thoughts and feelings on their relationships with their mothers, and also on what it seems a mother 'should' be, or what they 'should' offer their children.
Mothers can let us down - whether due to not standing up for us, not protecting us as we wish they would, or not recognising when there may be an issue for their children.
However, I think to some degree our parents/mothers will always let us down in some capacity based on the amount of expectations placed on mothers. They aren't perfect, they aren't mind readers, and they themselves are human and not infallible.
Though of course, at a minimum, they should provide love and safety/support for their children, and this can be lacking.
-
𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐠𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞, 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬, 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐨𝐞𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐮𝐩 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 '𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫' 𝐚𝐬 𝐰𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭'𝐬 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐢𝐭'𝐬 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐠𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐮𝐬.
-
I have a lot of empathy for the authors of the essays in this collection, as I personally have a difficult experience with the mothers in my life, though of course some of the accounts resonated more for me than others.
Particularly those who would like to have an honest conversation with their mothers, but who don't feel they will be heard, genuinely listened to, or understood.
I understand the draw to that mother/daughter bond that everyone seems to want, but I think it's still a fairly rare thing for mothers and daughters to be friends as well as parent/child.
-
𝐈'𝐯𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐂𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐂𝐡𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐮𝐠. 𝐌𝐲 𝐟𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭, 𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥 𝐰𝐞'𝐫𝐞 𝐧𝐨𝐭. 𝐒𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞. 𝐈𝐭'𝐬 𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐩 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦.
-
Obviously I can only speak from my own experience, but I do feel a sense of sadness for the essayists in this collection. I think that secrets can eat you up from the inside when traumatic and difficult things - like child abuse, neglect or abandonment - are glossed over or swept under the rug. But so many families seem content to act as though these hugely difficult things didn't happen.
Certainly having a Catholic stepmother myself presented it's own specific issues, but I hope that in being honest and sharing the truth of their experiences, the writers feel some sense of agency and personal liberation.
There is a grief in recognising and accepting that your parent(s) aren't (and perhaps never will be) the caregivers that you desire them to be. But there is also empowerment in being honest with ourselves about this. And in truth, at some point in our lives we all have to learn to self-parent; it's just that some of us have to learn this a lot sooner than others.
-
𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐚 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟. 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐤𝐞𝐞𝐩 𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐚𝐟𝐞. 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐚𝐬 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨, 𝐨𝐧 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬, 𝐈 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞, 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞.
𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐝𝐞 𝐦𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞, 𝐭𝐨𝐨, 𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬. 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞; 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝𝐧'𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐮𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬.
-
I would definitely recommend What My Mother And I Don't Talk About, and I think most people will be able to recognise their own experiences in at least some of the stories contained within this collection.
I think those who have strained relationships with their mother/stepmother/guardian will find this quite a refreshingly honest and valuable book to read, as it may help you give voice to your own truths, and in this way can help you to find your own sense of peace and acceptance.