Photo: Sandra Butler and Nan Fink Gefen

Ashby Village Discussion Featuring Co-Authors

Sandra Butler and Nan Fink Gene Discuss Mothers’ Perspectives on Their Life-Long Role

What do mothers over 65 have to say about their current mother-daughter relationships? Authors Sandra Butler and Nan Fink Gefen interviewed 78 mothers, ranging in age from 65-85, of varied backgrounds, family configurations, employment, education, racial identities, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. The authors listened as mothers recounted stories of the complex twists and turns of their mothering over time. The interactive presentation, facilitated by Ashby Village co-chair of the Arts and Culture program Marcia Freedman, was both touching and thought provoking, punctuated by knowing laughter and sighs of recognition from the audience.

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Watch the full event online:

AARP Interview: The Mother-Daughter Bond

A new book explores a unique relationship that ‘never ends’

There are countless books about mothers and daughters, but not so many (if any) about what motherhood is like when your daughters are in their 40s and 50s. Now there’s one, It Never Ends: Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters by Sandra Butler, 79, and Nan Fink Gefen, 76.

The authors, each with two daughters in their 50s, interviewed nearly 80 mothers in their 70s and 80s about their relationships with their daughters (a dynamic different than that between mothers and sons, which deserves its own book, they say).

“There’s an assumption that mothering stops when your kids are in their 40s and 50s,” says Butler from her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nope.

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Kirkus Review


Mothering Middle-Aged Daughters
by Nan Fink Gefen, Sandra Butler

An insightful look at the relationships between senior mothers and their middle-aged daughters….

Though Butler and Gefen often search for patterns, they recognize that “no two mother-daughter relationships are alike,” nor should they be. Most older mothers of daughters will connect to at least one narrative in this book, which also includes discussion questions.

An important personal and sociological perspective on women’s lives.

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