Reviews from readers
Honest views about being a grandmother today
Sladesh, 4 March 2018, Amazon.co.uk
Sometimes funny and often moving
Paul Hoggart, 23 August 2017. Amazon.co.uk
These verbatim extracts from interviews with women about the experience of being a grandmother are revealing, insightful, sometimes funny and often moving. Great stuff.
Perfect gift for Mother’s Day!
Amazon Customer, 25 April 2016. Amazon.com
This was an especially poignant read for me, as my grandmother passed away earlier this year. Through most of my adult life, I only contacted her occasionally, and of course I now regret that. However, I was blessed to have lived with her as a child and shared that part of my life with her. I am also glad I shared some of my artistic successes with her – she was an artist herself, and I wanted to ensure she knew that I continued that tradition and talent.
With that in mind, I went into reading this book girded for heartache, tears, and joy. I was not disappointed. The breadth of quotations is astounding and on point. Every person should read this book, whether they knew their grandparents at all or not, are grandparents themselves or not. It will have you in carthartic tears.
A reassuring and interesting read
VIV, 23 Oct. 2016. Amazon.co.uk
This is not an advice book or guide to being the perfect grandmother and not every interviewee in it depicts their own situation as being flawless and totally rosy. It is reassuring in NOT providing a ‘one size fits all’ approach to being a good grandmother……. the survey group shows diverse situations and circumstances and certainly made me consider my own! This is a book one can return to time and again as family dynamics change and the grandchildren grow. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Dr S Thomas, 14 July 2016. Amazon.co.uk
I enjoyed reading this book as a grandmother of two gorgeous grandchildren and having experienced the joy of grandmotherhood for nearly six years, I could empathize with many of the grandmothers that the author has interviewed.
The author has undertaken an impressive research among 27 grandmothers based in London, with ages ranging from 46 to 88, one as young as 36. Although Ann does not claim this to be a representative cross section of grandmothers of the world, she did include different socio-economic, ethnic and religious groups. This style of narrative, from the perspective of many grandmothers, give variety and depth to Ann Richardson’s book. I enjoyed reading it and will recommend it to, not only grandmothers, but anyone interested in human relationships.
Is sometimes sad, but also joyous and funny
M. Kuchemann, 5 July 2016. Amazon.co.uk
I was expecting a sentimental take on Grandmothers and their grandchildren with many anecdotes , but this is a collection of very candid and honest interviews with Grandmothers.
Reading of the relations with their grandchildren , not always successful or rewarding, is sometimes sad, but also joyous and funny . These interviews come over on many levels as they tell not only about the relationship with the grandchildren but are also very insightful to their relationships with their own children and even how they see themselves …
I found it a very heartwarming and informative read , this is not just a book for Grandmothers , but as a Grandmother of five I thoroughly enjoyed it .
Dixiejane, 5 July 2016. Amazon.co.uk
I enjoyed this book. I am very interested in the role of grandparents in society. I am interested in intergenerational relationships and think young and old can come together for mutual benefit. Would love to set up a surrogate grandparents service. Its lovely to see the world from a grandmothers point of view. I am sure its not always easy being a grandparent but it seems it can be a very wonderful thing.
The gentle voice of grandmothers is heard
Amazon Customer, 5 July 2016. Amazon.co.uk
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Grandmothers are so rarely written about and here we have them describing their experiences in their own voices. And it is amazing how similar those experiences are across cultures, classes, and languages. A little gem for all grandmothers
A ‘good to have’ book for grannies
MaggieM, 11 Jun. 2016. Amazon.co.uk
Happily I came across this book just after I heard I was to be a grannie for the first time, a time of complete delight with a dash of foreboding. I am very glad I found it. The book is just the thing for dipping into with all content taken from interviews with real grandmothers, some with many grandchildren and some with just one. It is easy to read, and like all good books, is amusing, has pathos and astonishes with the wisdom shown by the contributors…it has really made me think At my early stage of grandparenthood I empathised with the strong emotions from the chapter on becoming a grandmother; have scoured the chapter on doing things together in preparation for special days with my grandson.
The chapter on different views of childrearing is very useful and not just as a reminder that just because I became a mum before my daughter does not mean my way of doing things is necessarily the best. This book is an investment, the views of grandmothers of all ages and nationalities on their feelings about grandparenthood is enlightening. I think the book will be useful for me as my grandson matures. Most of all what comes over in this book is that being a granny is a completely different experience from being a mum.
A stimulating and interesting read – not just for grandmothers
Amazon Customer 13 Jun. 2016. Amazon.co.uk
This book does what it says on the tin – it celebrates grandmothers. And it makes you think about what it is like to be one. I have awhile to go before I get there and I had not given it much thought as to what it would feel like, but this book gave me some real food for thought. It conveys the joy of having grandchildren (without the broken nights us mothers have to put up with) but also some of the difficulties that can arise from family arguments. It also shows that being a grandmother is not always as easy as it looks. Very stimulating and interesting.
A must read book
A reader, 24 April 2015. Amazon.co.uk
I read this amazing book eagerly to find which part of ‘being a grandmother ‘ was me, let alone ‘the celebration’. I was not disappointed and bought another copy to give both away to friends who I felt were ‘real grandmothers’ I am a go-between grandmother of one son and one grandchild who are not in touch with each other except by my love of both.
This book by Ann Richardson who I have now met and purchased another book replacing the one I gave away, is an amazing writer not getting in the way of her subjects and presenting a wide experience of being a Grandmother in other cultures and differing dilemmas of grand parenting that can speak to all who read it, something for everyone may I say – even grandfathers!.I commend this easy read that can be picked up and put down and continued as time and emotion allows.
An insight into the many different experiences of being a …
Vicky Dearing, 3 Nov. 2014. Amazon.co.uk
This review is from: Celebrating Grandmothers: Grandmothers talk about their lives (Kindle Edition)
An insight into the many different experiences of being a grandmother – a really enjoyable book to dip into and hear their voices from different backgrounds – interesting reflections on the different relationships that need to be juggled – the author does not get in the way of allowing honest reflection to come through the book gives an insight into the huge amount of hard work done by grandmothers for their families. A ‘real’ book version is going to my mum for Christmas!
I am a mum not a grandmother but I loved this book
Linda M Davies, 29 Dec. 2014. Amazon.co.uk
I am a mum not a grandmother but I loved this book! It explores the experiences of several grandmothers from different backgrounds and allows them to share their experiences with you the reader. Some of them have sad stories to tell, some funny, some moving. But without a doubt you come away enriched by their experiences, some very insightful advice and a lot of food for thought.
I have several years to wait yet before I become a grandmother but this is a book I will dip in and out of and learn from for a long time.
There is something in this book for everybody and it is a ‘jolly good read’.
Julia Avery, 8 Dec. 2014. Amazon.co.uk
This compilation of reflections on being a grandmother is very insightful. Ann Richardson explores the fears and hopes, joys and sadness, beliefs and feelings of grandmothers from a broad range of backgrounds. It should be read not only by those newly honoured as grandparents or by those for whom it is a daily routine, but equally importantly by those of us who simply want to gain an understanding of their world. There is something in this book for everybody and it is a ‘jolly good read’.
This is a wonderful book especially for anyone who is a Grandmother
Patricia McConnell, 8 Dec. 2014. Amazon.co.uk
This is a wonderful book especially for anyone who is a grandmother. I have given copies to six of my friends who are all grandmothers and they all loved the book. They all said it was a really special present so a few more of my family and friends will be receiving copies.
Great Christmas Present!
Interact CC, 24 Nov. 2014. Amazon.co.uk
I loved reading this book – I am a mum (not a granny yet!) and so it was great reading about how different people felt about becoming a granny and what it meant to them. I loved it so much I have ordered one for my mum for Christmas, who is the most wonderful granny for my two boys.
Debbie Young’s Reading Life (also on Amazon UK)
I was persuaded to read this book after enjoying a blog post by the author Ann Richardson, a fellow ALLi author, about how she had been selling copies to strangers who looked as if they might enjoy it! She is American and has a typical American directness about her, but is also a seasoned researcher and writer who clearly understands what makes people tick, and is fascinated by their motivations and attitudes.
I’m not a grandmother (though I do have step-grandchildren), but I was very close to both my late grandmothers, and I’m glad that my daughter is close to hers, so I totally get the potential significance of grandmothers in everybody’s lives, and I am sad for those whose relationships have broken down or never been established.
Background to the Book
Celebrating Grandmothers (subtitled Grandmothers Talk About Their Lives) brings together the research that Ann Richardson undertook among a set of 27 grandmothers based in different parts of London, with ages ranging from 46 to 88, though they had become grandmothers at different ages, one as young as 36. As she says in her introduction, this wasn’t meant to be a representative cross-section of grandmothers of the world, but she did include different socio-economic, ethnic and religious groups.
For the sake of confidentiality, and to encourage franker discussion of sometimes difficult or embarrassing subjects – such as having favourite grandchildren, or sharing details of problems and challenges – she has anonymised all the responses, so we are not told anything about the source of each quote. Statements are simply attributed to “grandmother of three” or “grandmother of eleven” or whatever. I understand her reasons for this approach, but personally I’d have been interested in knowing the context of each quote. which would have added a further dimension, e.g. how do the views of grandmothers of different ages or ethnic groups or religions compare.
The book is well structured with the various quotes from the 27 interviewees organised into topics and sub-topics. The contents list at the front makes it easy to dip into when seeking thoughts on a particular subject e.g. “Disagreements on child-rearing”.
Although this is not presented as a self-help book, I’m sure many grandmothers will find this a useful resource, offering them an insight into how their peers deal with and react to various grandparenting issues. It will also encourage them to make the most of the wonderful, enriching opportunities that being a grandmother presents to individuals, and help them avoid the pitfalls that have caused breakdowns in other families’ relationships between generations.
Why and When to Buy It
I’m sure plenty of grandmothers will want to buy it for themselves (not least because it carries tucked away on its back cover a glowing endorsement from Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, mother of the more famous Hugh, and author of The Good Granny Guide). I can imagine a new or prospective granny poring over it in the same way that I used to read The Rough Guide to Pregnancy when I was expecting, savouring every moment and trying to become an expert in advance!
It’s also apparently a popular buy for mums and dads who want to show their children’s grandmother their appreciation, or even as a covert announcement of a new pregnancy!
Grandmothering is a complex, diverse, magical, and nuanced life stage
Karen D Austin, December 6, 2017. Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book
Allison P. Coudert, July 16, 2016. Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book, yes, for grandmothers but not exclusively for them. It shows how important family bonds and the bonds between generations can be and thankfully often are. One of the problems of modernity is the that it places so many conflicting demands on individuals while offering so many distractions that we often forget where our true values lie. Ann Richardson’s book allows us to slow down a bit and take stock of how important nurturing relationships are for ourselves, our families, and the world at large.
I found it fun to read about the various experiences of other grannies
B. Weber, May 29, 2016. Amazon.com
As a newer grandmother myself… I found it fun to read about the various experiences of other grannies! It’s interesting to see what other’s find helpful, their perspective, what’s important to them and I’ve even gotten some new ideas to use myself. Ann covers so many aspects of this role we face as grandparents and presents them in an interesting, joyful way. Would make a nice gift… an even a way to announce there is a baby on the way! A nice way to celebrate grandmothers! 🙂
Gail August, November 9, 2014. Amazon.com
Richardson’s book is about grandmothers but it can appeal to anyone who is interested in families, children, or women and mothers. Her organization of interview topics is framed by comments which guide the reader through a cross section of attitudes and experiences in grandparent family relations. Reading grandmothers’ feelings about their impact on families leads one to reflect upon issues of age, mortality, and events that make life meaningful. All and all, it is a good read, and surprisingly thought- provoking.
As an added plus—this book makes a great present!
Arthur Goldschmidt, 16 September 2014. Amazon.com
Need to find a present for a grandmother, someone who will soon be one, someone who is married to one, or a person who is interested in family dynamics? This is a book about being (or wanting to be) a grandmother, containing testimonies from women of various cultures, discussing different aspects of the experience of grandmothering. It’s easy to read. You can put it down and pick it up as your time permits. You can get it as an e-book if you prefer.
New grandmothers and longtime grandmothers a good view of the many aspects of this role in …
Ruth Abel, August 7, 2015. Amazon.com
Ann Richardson has provided prospective grandmothers, new grandmothers and longtime grandmothers a good view of the many aspects of this role in her book CELEBRATING GRANDMOTHERS. It is fun to read and a means of comparing one’s own style of grandmothering vs. those of others. It’s a nice contribution to the limited literature on the subject. Ruth Abel, grandmother of 5.
Perfect gift for Mother’s Day!
Amazon Customer, April 25, 2016. Amazon.com
Perfect Mother’s gift for all moms! Ms. Richardson writes beautifully about the importance of taking time to value grandmothers and moms. Each story shares a moment in time to be treasured. Rarely do grandmothers get that special nod for all of their love, dedication and wisdom. Well worth the read!
Beautiful, touching testimonies from grandmothers
Amazon Customer, October 15, 2015. Amazon.com
Beautiful, touching testimonies from grandmothers. The recordings are unedited and spontaneous. They can be read in any order. An enjoyable read for all, whether a grandma, a mom or a daughter!
Joy flooded my heart
BrenChris, 15 September 2017, Amazon.com
I never thought that a book about Grandmothers could be interesting, nor did I believe that such a topic could form a book, but the author achieved that with distinction.
The testimonies from grandmothers were varied and I could identify with a few.
In my own experience, I recall being taken unawares by a phone call from my son while I was abroad at a conference.
He called me ‘grandma’ when he addressed me at that time and I knew right away that he and my daughter-in-law were expecting a baby.Joy flooded my heart and I immediately started shopping for baby stuff.
Although they are older now I still enjoy buying them stuff.
I will travel to any part of the world to spend time with them.
Being a grandmother is truly a blessing and an opportunity to create new memories with a new generation.
I enjoyed ‘Celebrating Grandmothers; and commend Ann Richardson for her skill in putting together these interviews from grandmothers.
Would have loved to read details about her own experiences too.
SINGH Gurmukh, 4 décembre 2014. Amazon.fr
From its lovely cover to its last page, this book is a delight. A richly textured insight into the wide spectrum of feelings and experiences evoked by being a grandmother. It merits a wide audience.
Karen, 6 December 2017. Goodreads.
Ann Richardson has done a great service by transcribing interviews of 27 grandmothers and organizing their statements into themes for her readers. If you are an expectant grandmother or even an experienced grandmother, this book transports you to a Grandmother Conference of sorts. If you ever wanted to spend a long weekend talking with several other women about the nuances of grandmothering and the breadth of activities, relationships, and emotions of this family role, this book transports the reader to such a space.