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White Dresses

A Memoir of Love and Secrets, Mothers and Daughters

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

In this riveting, poignant memoir of  three generations of women and the white dresses that adorned them—television producer Mary Pflum Peterson recounts a journey through loss and redemption, and her battle to rescue her mother, a former nun, from compulsive hoarding.

As a successful television journalist at Good Morning America, Mary Pflum is known as a polished and highly organized producer. It’s a persona at odds with her tortured childhood, where she watched her emotionally vulnerable mother fill their house with teetering piles of assorted “treasures.” But one thing has always united mother and daughter—their love of white dresses. From the dress worn by Mary’s mother when she became a nun and married Jesus, to the wedding gown she donned years later, to the special nightshirts she gifted Mary after the birth of her children, to graduation dresses and christening gowns, these white dresses embodied hope and new beginnings.

After her mother’s sudden death in 2010, Mary digs deep to understand the events that led to Anne’s unraveling. At twenty-one, Anne entered a convent, committed to a life of prayer and helping others. But lengthy periods of enforced fasting, isolation from her beloved students, and constant humiliation eventually drove her to flee the convent almost a decade later. Hoping to find new purpose as a wife and mother, Anne instead married an abusive, closeted gay man—their eventual divorce another sign of her failure.

Anne retreats into chaos. By the time Mary is ten, their house is cluttered with broken appliances and stacks of unopened mail. Anne promises but fails to clean up for Mary’s high school graduation party, where Mary is being honored as her school’s valedictorian, causing her perfectionist daughter’s fear and shame to grow in tandem with the heaps upon heaps of junk. In spite of everything, their bond endures. Through the white dresses, pivotal events in their lives are celebrated, even as Mary tries in vain to save Anne from herself. 

Unflinchingly honest, insightful, and compelling, White Dresses is a beautiful, powerful story—and a reminder of the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters. 

Customer Reviews

White Dresses

What a wonderful story of the complex relationship between a mother and her daughter. I so enjoyed the journey and felt like crying when it ended.

White Dresses very readable memoir

The author recounts parts of her life while reflecting on her mothers influence on her and her mothers influence on her, in turn. Honest and open, I still think that more background would have been available regarding the authors mothers upbringing.

White Dresses

A good read. White Dresses. I finished reading the book last night. I bought the book because the author grew up in my home town, Beaver Dam Wisconsin. I continued reading the book because it was a story of family, the good, the bad and the ugly. Yet through all love prevailed. I laughed, I cried and I learned.

White Dresses
View in iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Sep 15, 2015
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Seller: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
  • Print Length: 352 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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