Things I wish my mother had told me. Thoughts on the book.

Book Review: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me, Lessons in Grace and Elegance by Lucia Van Der Post. John Murray Publishers, UK, London 2008.

I chose to write about this book because of its title. The mention of My Mother brings to mind so many things… Personal things I wished my mother had told me years ago, and most importantly, things I have to say to my daughters! This is going to be a review with that in mind.

Lucia Van Der Post is an associate editor of the Financial Times’s How to Spent it magazine, and has also written for the New Statesman, Departures and many others. She writes about style and luxury and has a devoted audience.

Inside  the Book

The book covers a variety of themes such as: How to Wear Clothes; How to look Good; Love, Marriage and Happiness; Perfect Presents; Fun and Games. Her Lessons in Grace and Elegance derive from personal experience and are solidified by her proven reputation as lifestyle writer. She offers valuable advice such as a list entailing what is worth spending money on. There is also her “golden rules” for shopping at the sales. Her advise is timeless and it extends beyond dressing elegantly and looking smart. She also offers insights into being a good host, a stylish professional and a delightful friend.

Going back to the title, there is clearly a positive message. You don’t have to worry about the things your mother didn’t tell you; you will find everything in here! And you do find everything in there.

What do I tell my daughters?

I think this book is practical rather than inspirational; it does cover everything in a very comprehensive way. More importantly, this book made me think about my role as a mother. It made me think about all the things I have to tell my daughters. It made me realize that I’m not here to teach them the basics and remind them to do their homework. My role is a lot more complex than that. It is equally important that they know how to take good care of themselves, how to manage their life, their manners, their feminine questions and aspirations. I’m not sure how much help I actually got from this book, but the title stayed with me over the years and made me feel more responsible as a mother. I hope I will be able to teach them how to determine their unique identity, how to define their personal look, how to set their priorities and lead their lives in a balanced way. Elegance and style included!

I would love to read your thoughts on this. As a mother what do I need to tell to my daughters? What would be the most important lesson? How do I teach them without being overbearing? Any ideas?

 

 

We love reading

We love the smell of paper

the sound of the turning page, the tranquillity of spending time with a book.

Our beautiful book.

We also appreciate the ability to connect with others at any time, any place. Reading is a conversation with the author, a discovery of knowledge, a journey into something new. And this can happen in so many ways.

New habits are formed today. Connectivity is everywhere. Blogs, sites, social networks; all occupy a large part of our lives. Our online activity has changed our ways of reading.

Reading has evolved so much. We read all the time now, even if it’s just colourful tweets! It is so easy to share our thoughts, to connect. The digital world is bringing us all closer together.

Our love for reading brings as all closer together.

Reading is our answer to the need to explore, to discover, to ask questions. The way reading adapts to our modern ways is proof of its reign. Proof of our intrinsic need to share stories and thoughts.

The Beginning

 

Thanks for joining me!

This blog is about relationships, style and etiquette. It was inspired by my effort to convince my teenage daughter that there is indeed a happy medium between:

  • modesty and fashion
  • good manners and individuality
  • respecting the rules and challenging them

Perhaps a challenge for us adults too, huh?

My struggle to find balance gave birth to the idea for a book and also this blog. I want to cherish every relationship, respect each individual personality, but at the same time there is a line to draw.

I am here to say:

  • Let’s all be polite again, at home, on the street, at work and online.
  • Let’s find a way to express ourselves genuinely whilst wholeheartedly respecting all others.

I want to explore and promote individuality and honest relationships. I want to communicate boundaries without harming affection.

On a practical note, individuality is expressed through:

  • how we speak and what we say
  • how we look and how we present ourselves in each social situation
  • what choices we make and how we act on them

Those are the issues that I plan to explore in this blog.

The theory and the practice of savoir-faire, in an honest and thoughtful way.