With the "eloquence of a poet and the gifts of a born therapist" (San Francisco Chronicle) Kim Chernin offers a new paradigm for women's development as mature, creative, and free adults. "Giving birth to one's mother" is a symbolic act of self-creation that opens the door to autonomy and achievement; it is a model for breaking the pattern of the endless cycles of blame and forgiveness of mothers within which many women live out their lives. Tales from Chernin's clinical practice vividly illustrate this model. One client's question, "If I tell you that a daughter is looking for me, a daughter who died when she was born, can you make sense of that without thinking I am crazy?" is the beginning of her journey. Another woman, adopted into an abusive family, embarks on an unlikely--but ultimately life-changing and successful--search for her birth-mother. Chernin's work is groundbreaking and necessary; this is a book that belongs on the shelves alongside Hope Edelman, Mary Pipher, Carol Gilligan and Mary Catherine Bateson as a major contribution to how women understand their lives.