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The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers
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Published:
Atria Books 2018
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
In this lyrical and deeply moving memoir, one of America's most revered actresses weaves stories of her adventures and travels with her mother, while reflecting on the beautiful spirit that persists even in the face of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Marcia Gay Harden knew at a young age that her life would be anything but ordinary. One of five lively children born to two Texas natives—Beverly, a proper Dallas lady, and Thad, a young naval officer—she always had a knack for storytelling, role-playing, and adventure. As a military family, the Hardens moved often, and their travels eventually took them to Yokohama, off the coast of Japan, during the Vietnam War era. It was here that Beverly, amid the many challenges of raising her family abroad, found her own self-expression in ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging.

Using the philosophy of ikebana as her starting point, Marcia Gay Harden intertwines the seasons of her mother's life with her own journey from precocious young girl to budding artist in New York City to Academy Award-winning actress. With a razor-sharp wit, as well as the kind of emotional honesty that has made her performances resonate with audiences worldwide, Marcia captures the joys and losses of life even as her precious mother gracefully strives to maintain her identity while coming to grips with Alzheimer's disease.

Powerful and incredibly stirring, The Seasons of My Mother illustrates the unforgettable vulnerability and beauty of motherhood, as Marcia does what Beverly can no longer do: she remembers.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/01/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781501135729
ASIN:
B01HMXRYDI
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Marcia Gay Harden. (2018). The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers. Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Marcia Gay Harden. 2018. The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers. Atria Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Marcia Gay Harden, The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers. Atria Books, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Marcia Gay Harden. The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers. Atria Books, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:37:24
Date Updated:
Jan 11, 2024 05:42:30
Last Metadata Check:
May 26, 2024 11:12:03
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Check:
May 26, 2024 11:12:07
Last Availability Change:
Sep 12, 2023 22:46:37
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: Marcia Gay Harden is an actress of the stage, screen, and television. She is also an author, an advocate for Alzheimer's research, a gardener, and a potter. She lives in Los Angeles and New York with her three children, two cats, and a dog. The fish stays in LA. Learn more from TheOfficialMarciaGayHarden.com and follow her on Twitter @MGH_8.
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The Seasons of My Mother
fullDescription
In this lyrical and deeply moving memoir, one of America's most revered actresses weaves stories of her adventures and travels with her mother, while reflecting on the beautiful spirit that persists even in the face of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Marcia Gay Harden knew at a young age that her life would be anything but ordinary. One of five lively children born to two Texas natives—Beverly, a proper Dallas lady, and Thad, a young naval officer—she always had a knack for storytelling, role-playing, and adventure. As a military family, the Hardens moved often, and their travels eventually took them to Yokohama, off the coast of Japan, during the Vietnam War era. It was here that Beverly, amid the many challenges of raising her family abroad, found her own self-expression in ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging.

Using the philosophy of ikebana as her starting point, Marcia Gay Harden intertwines the seasons of her mother's life with her own journey from precocious young girl to budding artist in New York City to Academy Award-winning actress. With a razor-sharp wit, as well as the kind of emotional honesty that has made her performances resonate with audiences worldwide, Marcia captures the joys and losses of life even as her precious mother gracefully strives to maintain her identity while coming to grips with Alzheimer's disease.

Powerful and incredibly stirring, The Seasons of My Mother illustrates the unforgettable vulnerability and beauty of motherhood, as Marcia does what Beverly can no longer do: she remembers.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 19, 2018
        The devotion and heartbreak of a loving mother-daughter relationship are captured with affection and precision in this graceful memoir. Harden, an Academy Award–winning actress (Pollock), began writing the life story of her mother, Beverly, alongside her own after Beverly’s 2011 Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Beverly was passionate about ikebana (the ancient art of Japanese flower arrangement), and, in Harden’s telling, both women led relatively ordinary lives: they married, had children, found meaning in travel, and took joy in family. She narrates the story by seasons of her mother’s life, describing her essence in each one (in spring, “my mother is a brightly ribboned maypole”). Descriptions of ikebana arrangements tell Beverly’s story: a military wife with five children who grew into a self-directed woman, her strength is “like a willow branch. Bendable, flexible, yet unbreakable.” Harden is optimistic in the face of Alzheimer’s: “When all is said and done—even without memory—what still exists is love.” The connection between daughter and mother becomes even richer during “the great migration of age,” when “the children become the caregivers.” Harden delivers a love letter to her mother, in which the extraordinary elements of her ordinary life shine through.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        March 15, 2018
        An Oscar-winning actress pays tribute to her mother.When Harden's mother began to show signs of Alzheimer's disease, Harden decided to try to capture her memories before they were gone. In this soulful memoir, she pays homage to the woman who raised her. She tells stories from her earliest childhood days to the present and emphasizes the beliefs and values her mother instilled in her. Harden narrates chronologically, using the seasons as metaphors for the various stages in life. Chronicling her early life, she describes how her father's work in the Navy required the family to move around, including stops in California, Greece, and Japan. While they were living in Japan, her mother learned the Japanese art of flower arranging, ikebana, an artistic method of flower placement that incorporates three principle ideas: heaven, earth, and man. Ikebana was clearly Harden's mother's passion, and the author skillfully blends in descriptions of the flower arrangements her mother made and the classes she taught on ikebana. She offers tales of how her mother gently encouraged her to audition for a play, which began her successful acting career; of going to the Academy Awards; and of traveling through New Zealand with her mom instead of her boyfriend. It's abundantly clear that her mother was there for Harden through the good and the bad, so the knowledge that those memories no longer exist for her mother are especially heartbreaking. In keeping with the author's flower and gardening motif, she describes her mother's condition as "a weed run wild, slowly choking the path to memory." One of her few points of solace is the fact that her mother "has somehow managed to keep [her dignity]. Her appreciation of beauty remains as a purifier for her spirit."Praise, love, and honor all play roles in this respectful, highly affectionate memoir about a spirited mother-daughter relationship.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 1, 2018
        Alzheimer's is a thief. The disease steals people's memories away, until they no longer have the thread of their life to hold on to. But in this poignant, beautiful memoir, actor Harden restores the narrative of her mother's life. As the wife of a naval officer and mother of five, Beverly had her share of adventures. While living in Japan, she discovered the art of ikebana, a type of flower arranging focused on achieving balance. She would go on to become an accomplished practitioner and teacher of ikebana, but when mother and daughter begin to plan a flower-arranging television show, the thief of memory ruthlessly cuts in. Replete with emotionally resonant scenes, humor, and tales of Harden's own journey as an actor, The Seasons of My Mother is both inspirational and devastating, a touching tribute to a remarkable woman. Harden may have put it best when, accepting her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 2000 film Pollock, she thanked her father for teaching me how to soldier through tough situations, and Mom for showing me how to do it gracefully. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 15, 2016

        As Harden's mother is battling Alzheimer's and cannot recall her life, Harden does it for her, blending in accounts of her own rise to Tony- and Academy Award-winning stature. Framed by images of the Japanese flower arranging her mother so loved.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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In this lyrical and deeply moving memoir, one of America's most revered actresses weaves stories of her adventures and travels with her mother, while reflecting on the beautiful spirit that persists even in the face of her mother's struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Marcia Gay Harden knew at a young age that her life would be anything but ordinary. One of five lively children born to two Texas natives—Beverly, a proper Dallas lady, and Thad, a young naval officer—she always had a knack for storytelling, role-playing, and adventure. As a military family, the Hardens moved often, and their travels eventually took them to Yokohama, off the coast of Japan, during the Vietnam War era. It was here that Beverly, amid the many challenges of raising her family abroad, found her own self-expression in ikebana, the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging.

Using the philosophy of ikebana as her starting point, Marcia Gay Harden intertwines the seasons of her...
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publisher
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