Honey, Baby, Mine by Laura Dern and Diane Ladd

After being poisoned by pesticides used in her area, Diane Ladd’s lungs were so scarred that she was given only 6 months to live. Her daughter, actress Laura Dern, was told that getting her mother walking might help and give her mother more time, so they started going for walks together. Terrified that they were losing each other, they started talking about things and asking some of the tough questions, fearing that these might be the last opportunity to ask them. Dern recorded these talks, and that is the basis for this book. (And wonderfully, the walking helped and Ladd’s whole condition improved)

This book is a wonderful mother-daughter memoir. A lot of celebrity books that daughters write about their mothers are not about how warm the relationship was (we’re looking at you Mommy Dearest), or they focus on how different famous lives are to our own, but this is something else. It’s about the beautiful bond that exists between a loving mother and daughter that I think a lot of people will relate to. The book looks at love and also the things we avoid talking about, the hard questions or talking about how we were wounded by things. It’s a very raw book, full of love and some pain, full of life, and full of anecdotes about the lives of the two women.

The book itself is beautiful. It has lovely white flowers in it’s endpapers in the hardback edition, with a photo on the front, as you can see above. It’s also got a lot of family photos, which I found really interesting. They’re such a nice touch in a book like this, because they’re not the kind of thing you usually see in biography middle sections, but personal, at home type family snaps. Inside, the book is transcript like entries, detailing their conversation, and some diary like entries, which go deeper into some of the subjects they talk about.

I found this book incredibly moving. At any age, we can lose the mother in our lives, or the people who held us when we were young and know our family stories, who we were and where we came from. These people often guide us in life, with their wisdom experience. I love seeing this bond celebrated here, and also that reminder to talk to the people in our lives, to clear the air, have the hard conversations, and to laugh together. It’s rare to see this core part of our lives, our family of origin, be celebrated in such a down to earth way, or to talk deeply about how these relationships are so key to our souls. Also, that it’s not all made very cute and sappy, but raw and messy, sometimes scrappy and sometimes hilarious, and those times of honesty where we really see where that elder person in our lives came from. I love that. So often, only romantic relationships are held up as meaningful or impactful, as the most important, but there are other key relationships we have in our lives, and it’s wonderful to have a book like this that reflects that. I really enjoyed this one, and I think you will too.

Read It If: this one is for everyone who feels that mother-child bond and how powerful and raw that family bond can be. A beautiful read. Also, one for fans of Diane Ladd and Laura Dern, as a matter of course.

Thank you to HBG Canada for the copy of this book for review.


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