How could Helene survive a childhood devoted to worshipping a mother who was 'the most beautiful woman in the world'? How did competent, energetic and successful Brett - sure she would make a better mother than her mother had ever been to her - cope with terrible postnatal depression? How indeed does any daughter end the cycle of blaming and forgiving; idealising and escaping; imitating, or trying desperately not to imitate, her mother? This thought-provoking book offers a new paradigm for women's development as mature, creative and free adults. Therapist Kim Chernin explores the stages of change through which women travel in thinking about their mothers and shows how the crucial transition allows women to free themselves and open the door to autonomy and achievement.