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Ellyn Spragins: ‘What I know now’ (My well-loved copy)

Though not every mother-daughter relationship is privy to the openness, honesty or friendship of Lorelai and Rory, at some point, almost every girl finds herself in search of advice from the one person she can count on to have her best interest at heart – her mother. For most of us, this moment doesn’t begin until our twenties; the lost years that we are bound to make mistakes within, that aren’t as easily forgiven as the missteps of our troublesome teens, and continue long into the years of adulthood.

Unfortunately, for Spragins, these moments were cut short, when she lost her mother at the age of thirty-two. From this moment on, Spragins couldn’t help but wonder what words of wisdom her mother would have offered through life’s trying passages, and in search of answers, gathered the words of 42 exceptional women. The first in a three part series, this book is the work of women offering others pearls of wisdom in the form of letters they write back to their younger selves.

These women range in occupation from Activists to Writers to CEOs to Olympic Gymnasts, writing on both professional and personal obstacles, with the recognition that life continuously makes us choose what our priorities are, naturally creating room for doubt on whether or not we have made the right decisions. In this book you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. One or many of the women in this book have probably been in very similar predicaments, if not the exact same, and share a distinct correlation in the things that were once their biggest weaknesses, and are now their biggest strengths. I carried this book everywhere in hope I’d have a few minutes to fill with reading one of these letters.

From Spragins’ Introduction:

‘Only in hindsight can we see that our fears and worries were unwarranted, that insecurities and doubts were just illusions, or that we should have taken a risk or dared something new sooner. It’s humbling to compare yourself to the women in this book. But at the same time, it’s encouraging to know that even women at the top of their fields have suffered private fears, longings and missteps. To know that these talented women didn’t enter the world as finished products… is to understand that it is within our grasp to reach loftier levels then we might have dreamed of. Choosing to grow during trying life’s passages can be lonely work. I hope this book will make that choice less solitary, because you’ll be in the company of great women’



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