Read Praise of Motherhood by Phil Jourdan Online

praise-of-motherhood

The death of the author's mother sparks a series of reflections on the secret roles mothers play in the lives of troubled adolescents....

Title : Praise of Motherhood
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781780992648
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 126 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Praise of Motherhood Reviews

  • Edward Rathke
    2019-01-20 03:46

    I thought I left the star rating here blank and I think it should remain blank but I guess I put four stars there for some reason so I guess I'll keep it for now. It makes no sense for me to give a book like this a rating. Not because it's bad or good or immeasurable, but because it's about a friend, because it's true, and how do you quantify a friend's life? How do you even begin to try, and, if you do try, what purpose could that serve?Praise of Motherhood is dark and beautiful and tragic because what else is a book about depression, psychosis, and the death of a mother meant to be about? This is a book of true emotion and it's gripping. Sometimes even a little playful but always pulling you into Phil Jourdan. Into his heart, to his thoughts, but even as he opens up to us, he keeps us at bay, let's us know this isn't meant for us. His pain is not a show and his mother is not quantified by words and pages.This book made me really uncomfortable. This book made a home for me. This book kicked me in the teeth. This book wasn't meant for me. This book was meant only for me.I loved this book but love isn't the right word.I hated this book but hate isn't the right word.I'm not someone who reads memoirs or autobiographies, or even biographies for that matter but I'm glad I read this. I may read it again one day but I'm afraid to. For such a small book, it carries great weight and it may just change you.Read this book, even when it hurts, because it will.

  • Slit Your Wrists! Magazine
    2019-02-16 01:47

    It is borderline offensive for this book to be labeled as just a memoir, but understand the reasons for it to be marketed as such. The reason I say that is because it's not JUST a memoir, this is an important piece of literature. The story Mr Jourdan shares with the world herein are profound and utterly inspiring.Most memoirs I have picked up are from people trying to establish their own self-importance for something they have done and want to go down in history, frankly I find those sort of memoirs as interesting as watching political debates. Meaning they're boring and usually pointless. This fortunately is not one of those. This story needed to be told and is astoundingly thought provoking.This is a man's struggle with psychosis beginning at a very young age and a woman who selflessly carried him through it. Jourdan does not hide anything, raw emotion and controversial situations are all there for the public eye to see. It will make you ask questions about yourself and make you care more for those around you. In such an empty alcohol and fashion driven industry, these golden literary messages of hope often fall from the view of the mainstream, but are needed now more than ever. And for someone to take such a painful situation and turn it into writing that can inspire those that read it is simply incredible.His mother would be proud of this and you will be too after reading it.~Laurance KittsEditor of SYWzine

  • Imke
    2019-02-02 01:35

    The book sucked me in right from the beginning. Consciously putting it down now and then, I wanted the experience of reading it to last longer. I didn't manage to stretch it much; the book hasn't even been in my possession a full day. Phil's honesty is what made this such a great read. I smiled, I was surprised, concerned, sad and intrigued. His relationship with his mother, his struggles and his questions were all equally interesting and thought-provoking. Even though Mathilde wasn't a big part of the story, her presence in the book touched me, having a sister and being the younger one myself. I like to read books that make me feel something, make a difference somehow. Praise of Motherhood did.

  • Jack Joslin
    2019-02-04 00:47

    How does one deal with the unexpected loss of someone close to them? More importantly, how does one do so in a way that will preserve the character of the deceased in an honest and heartfelt way, without utilising battered formulae and tedious elegies?Look to this book. Phil Jourdan discovers the life - and loss - of his mother by turning the gaze inward, excavating his own flaws and delusions, trying to get to the core of what made her her. It is a great debut work - beautiful, funny, intelligent, unnerving and, ultimately, extremely moving.

  • Michael Gonzalez
    2019-01-25 03:57

    It took me a while to figure out why this book felt a bit familiar and different all at once, and then it hit me: Holden Caulfield (stay with me here...). I hated Catcher in the Rye, and the reason I hated it had everything to do with the kid at the center of the whole thing. Snivelly, whining, a chip on his shoulder, angry at the world. In short, everything the Phil we see in this book is not.Phil is on a quest for understanding. There's a refrain in the book - why? Why did this happen? Why don't I feel anything? Why won't my mother tell me her secret? Why?And Phil clearly had moments in this book where is is an angry young man, where he is lashing out at the world, but there's such an earnestness to him, an openness, that it comes down to this: Holden Caulfield is an asshole. Phil is not.He twists and turns, walking the story in and out of reality, chasing a thread, a phantom that is not quite his mother, not the idea of her either. Her essence. The part of her that is him.The book is masterfully constructed, with Phil inviting us into one of the worst periods of his life, leading us through it, making us feel, making us want to reach out to him, before masterfully turning things around towards the end of the book and making it clear that as much as he has been willing to share with us, as deep as we think we've been, we weren't welcome here. There's more, but it's not for us. Not our business. But there's humor too! Moments where I found myself laughing at Phil's take on things, sometimes in places he might not have intended, and it comes from the honest and open presentation. This happened, then this, and then this. And Phil was the straight man throughout, his honest reactions hitting straight to the nerve of a situation.The final three paragraphs of the book are simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking, words that'll stay with me for a while.

  • Irina-Marina Borţoi
    2019-01-27 06:00

    If you love your mother, this book will touch you immensely. If you don't love your mother - or you simply don't give a damn - this book will show you what a son's love is all about and you'll wish you did. Phil Jourdan describes his mother mostly through their life together, focusing on the more troublesome moments, when she - Sophia - had all the patience and love in the world for a kid who was not on the right track. He lets facts speak for themselves, typical descriptions of his mother are scarce, but in the light of what she did for her children, and mostly for young Philippe, you basically understand what a wonderful person she was. He praises without praising, and with every page you get to know a little more about such a special woman in his life. And most of all, you'll wish your kid will someday love you like that, too.

  • Leonor
    2019-01-27 06:39

    Praise of Motherhood feels like what you would imagine a brain like if it were in book form. All over the place, but without ever feeling too far away from the core.Phil's mother is portrayed in an god-like manner, always understanding, kind, smart, and mysterious, which you perceive through the isolated incidents and dream-like hypothetical scenarios that are the chapters. Nearly impossible to put down, I devoured in in less that a day. Intensely thought-provoking, really makes you wonder about the complexity of the human mind, which in Phil's case seems near-psychotic but still conscious of itself.Beautiful.I loved it.

  • Renee
    2019-02-09 01:40

    Praise of Motherhood is a short, honest, and moving piece of literature. Jourdan gets to the heart of what it is like to be a son, what it is like to be a mother, and what it is like to grieve. You will leave the novel feeling closer to your parents, closer to Jourdan, and closer to the kind of enlightenment new literature often promises but rarely delivers on.

  • Leila Summers
    2019-01-21 04:36

    I was given this book to review as part of a blog tour.This story begins when the author, Phil Jourdan, receives news that his mother, Sophia, is in hospital and that he needs to fly home to Portugal right away. By the time he and his sister arrive, it is too late. Sophia’s tragic death from an unexpected brain aneurysm leaves Phil feeling completely out at sea. This book is his way of trying to make some kind of sense of the enormous loss of a woman who played such a supportive and pivotal role in his life.We as readers become privy to an extremely honest and introspective reflection of the author’s mental anguishes. He describes his mother as a kind and long suffering woman who was a pillar of strength through his, sometimes lengthy, recollections of his psychologically unstable adolescence. The first two chapters were awkward for me, but by chapter three, I got into the flow. The bulk of the story weaves in and out of past and present; reality and imagination; memories and myths. At times it is not immediately clear who is speaking, or whether it is in fact an actual conversation or one that never took place other than in the author’s own head. Though I found the dialogue in the book particularly authentic, the lack of punctuation did bother me somewhat.Throughout the book, you feel the intense pain of the loss of a woman who was snatched from the author far too soon. She was his hiding place from the storms that raged within him, his emotional struggles, and constant anxiousness about the world. I felt that some of the rantings were unnecessary to the reader, though they probably provided the author with an outlet. Particularly toward the end of the book when he lashes out at various people. Though I found this distasteful, I understood it to be a part of the questioning and grieving process.Praise of Motherhood is a very human portrayal of loss and how those left behind have to muddle through it on their own. In the end, the reader is left with the importance of appreciating those who are dear to us while we still have the chance. As readers, we never walk away from a memoir untouched.

  • Melissa Storm
    2019-02-10 01:52

    Phil Jourdan's memoir Praise of Motherhood was not at all what I expected. Somehow I was thinking he'd dish up a collection of cutesy stories related to his mom--maybe a recollection of how he made her pancakes for mother's day at the age of eight and burnt the flapjacks terribly but she still ate every bite. No, that's not what this book is--it's much better. Jourdan shows how his mother was there for him during his tortuous adolescence, how her patience and support allowed him to survive the demons of his young mind. In fact, this book doesn't read like a memoir at all; rather, it's high brow literary fiction. The author dapples with the experimental styles of Joyce, switching from stream-of-consciousness, to extended metaphors, to going into narratives dictated by people who are not him. More than Joyce, though, I was reminded of Gabriel Garcia Marquez who wrote in the style of Magical Realism. Phil Jourdan's life is magically realistic, and his portrayal of it is honest, bold, and perhaps off-putting to some (but hey, that's what happens when you do something different, when you discuss the issues that were supposed to have been neatly tucked under the rug of our collective conscious). Throughout the entire memoir, Phil's love of his mother and his difficulty saying goodbye after her early death take center stage. And it is fitting that he chose to launch his literary career with an homage to this wonderful lady--because if not for her, he'd probably not be a writer today. Heck, he may not have even survived past fourteen.*Disclaimer* Since Phil is a Novel Publicity client, I can't assign a star rating--it's not ethical, folks. Hopefully, this review will speak for itself!

  • Dakota Taylor
    2019-02-15 23:58

    Surreal. Short and sweet like a motherly kiss. A beautiful tale but not without its elements of dark humor. But the two are inseparable when writing about the subject of life and death. In fact, it defines most memoirs. Beautifully, dark. Jourdan does a masterful job at portraying the spectrum of human emotions through his carefully crafted characters that are so real on the page that the reader can't help but feel a part of his family. Phil drags us down with him in the trenches of the human psyche only to bring us back up and make us analyze.Make us learn, and make us reflect. The relationship of a boy and his mother. The relationship of life and death. The struggle. This isn't just Phil Jourdan's novel, this is everyone's novel. Everyone can relate in some way. Although this is my first memoir I've read (and glad it was my first) I would have to argue that the same principles apply to every memoir. They are a reflection of our own lives. And this is what makes Praise Of Motherhood so powerful. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.-Dakota

  • Chenoa
    2019-02-12 02:57

    Phil Jourdan allows the reader to explore his mind in this memoir about the loss of his mother. The ebb and flow of it imitates the mind's natural rhythm, which is, in itself, chaotic. And through such writing, the reader follows the grieving process, finding comfort in memories and imaginings.Although Sophia passed on, Jourdan gives her new life as he and others remembered her: a compassionate, kind-hearted, strong woman with a touch of mystery. One can truly begin to understand the love that only a mother has when Sophia describes living for the sake of her children. Such is the bond of a mother to those she carried, protected, and loved before she even knew them.This memoir is a coping mechanism for the author, whose psychosis almost took control of him up until the death of his mother. And it's clear that while it may not have been the cure he was looking for, losing his mother opened Philippe's mind to what Sophia wanted him to understand while she was alive; that she would always be there.

  • Anthony
    2019-01-29 23:50

    I had no idea what I was getting into. Not only does this book place the reader directly inside the author's psyche as he moves through the grieving process, but you get the sense that the writing of this book played an integral part in completing that journey. This level of transparency without pretense or affect creates a very tenuous relationship between author and reader, where at any moment one could be taken out of the rather stream of consciousness narrative, but Jourdan seems to handle this with a rare finesse.Put simply, you get the sense that this is exactly how he would relate the experience to you, the reader, over a pitcher of beer at a pub. And you'll walk away from this book thinking deeply about the quality of your own relationships. This book is such a unique experience, I will recommend it to a great many people.

  • Craig Wallwork
    2019-02-01 05:31

    Phil Jourdan has a natural gift for writing. He is sincere and honest, which is a rare commodity in a writer. It is almost as if the book is a physical extension of his body, his spine cracked and marked by the hours spent at the computer typing. And his heart, the many pages that are exposed when pushed open. A beautiful, sad, but resonating slice of human life. This book is as much about you, me and everyone else, as it is about Phil Jourdan. Wonderful stuff. Yes, it is a personal book, but it's contents is far reaching. I think that's the real charm and strength of this novel. It's honest. Brutally at times, but my god, if only more writers bled on that page like this the world but be much richer for it.

  • Dave
    2019-02-17 07:31

    Praise of Motherhood is far from my standard reading fare, yet I found it immensely insightful, and read it in only two sittings. For anyone who's had a mother, this book will matter. There's something for everyone here, I most appreciate the insight into the relationship between a mother and son, often overshadowed in society by the "father/son" dynamic. A difficult topic to tackle, no doubt, and Jourdan masters it without diverging into a orgy of self pity. Brilliant.Interesting, thought provoking, and relevant. Thanks.

  • Gordon
    2019-01-25 01:47

    A short book, but not "a quick read," Jourdan puts his mother's sudden death into personal context, reflecting back on his own youthful psychotic episodes and how she dealt with them, the men in her life, and many unanswered questions that have him filling in the gaps with creative license. He doesn't want your pity, or your food platters, only for you to understand how much he misses her in the way only a son can.

  • Bookedpodcast
    2019-02-03 00:56

    Listen to our full review here: http://www.bookedpodcast.com/2012/05/...

  • Amanda
    2019-02-17 00:49

    I have to admit my feelings about this book were all over the place. I had a lot of trouble getting into the book. Jourdan describes a childhood with a liberal mother who seemingly allowed her children, pets, and staff to do pretty much whatever they chose to do. Jourdan apparently chose to start fires. Frequently and using whatever was on hand or had recently annoyed him. He was a pyromaniac suffering from depression, psychosis, and describes himself as a sociopath. After reading further, though, I do wonder if his social isolation stems more from Asperger's Syndrome than being a sociopath. Not only do I not know the author, but I'm hardly qualified to diagnose such a thing. However, just the possibility made me sympathize more with a person who at first seemed beyond sympathy.Most of the book is written in a stream-of-consciousness style, with an odd way of switching point-of-view mid-paragraph with no warning. It's also deeper and more philosophical than I usually read. Jourdan gets a little wordy at times, but I can't really complain about that as I've been known to do that a time or two myself while writing.Jourdan goes off on tangents of fantasy to try to explain the parts of his mother's life with which he is unfamiliar. Almost one full chapter is devoted to the speculation of the life story of a man who may or may not even have existed. Also, the book title seems misleading to me. This book is really about the author and his relationship with his mother is a secondary story line.About halfway through, the book finally "clicked" for me. Jourdan is brutally honest in describing his feelings. He's angry and he's numb and he's confused. Just as many of are after a tragedy, but are afraid to speak those feelings for fear they'll make us look bad or different. It's very obvious that despite whatever difficulties may have existed between Jourdan and his mother, he loved her deeply. He writes of the numbness he feels in the days after her death, the feeling that it must all be a grand joke that his mother was playing on him and his sister. I especially liked it when he wrote of the time the two of them spent in the kitchen."I felt a bond with her stronger than any other, and it was because we were in the kitchen, doing something I cared nothing about in theory, but enjoying it still because we were together and loved each other."It was heart-breaking to read of his mental breakdowns in his teen years and how terrified he was to tell his mother what was wrong even as he desperately wanted help, but it helped make sense of many things. If I understood correctly, he was only 20-21 years old at the time of her death. This isn't mentioned until close to end of the book, but it actually explains a lot. A typical young man of that age is still in the "selfish" phase. He isn't old enough yet to really cherish his parents and want to take the time to get to know them. After a lifetime of depression and other severe issues, it's hardly surprising that Jourdan didn't know his mother very well. He's still trying to get to know himself.Chapter 12 is very poignant and what I expected from the whole book when I chose to read it -- except the last section of the chapter, which was just weird and had nothing to do with his mother. And I have to say that the duct tape incident is quite entertaining, considering the context.Content warning: This book contains a scene depicting child molestation and one line about oral sex with a prostitute (not in the same scene).I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

  • Flami
    2019-02-06 03:37

    Praise of Motherhood is a jewel. I loved reading it, like I love all things that speak real life. And reading slices of Jourdan's life was no glossed-over experience, yet such a hospitable place: a weekend over at the funeral of a friend's mother. Provided he wasn't happy to see how many people showed up at the actual event, it's sweet being taken by the hand into this young author's educated voice and being showed around: what was before, and what's left of a mother who, in Jourdan's words, was the mother; an endless woman. So endless, that the memoir becomes a tribute to Sophia, a testimony of Phil's journey inside his love for mom; a journey that originates from a river of pseudo-irrelevant thoughts as a coping mechanism at the burial, then revisits all the milestones of mother and son's life together. We learn about Phil's youth emotional breakdowns, his precocious sad realizations about life and love, his shifts of consciousness, and how Sophia always helped his helpless kid son without just handing out lies or illusions.I adored fifth chapter – fifth chapter felt like adolescence. It's twisted and raging. I felt lost and picked on. Great job on that, Phil Jourdan, it mustn't have been easy to re-experience puberty just to make readers feel that age again. The way we see Phil trying to keep Sophia with him through memories of kitchens and dogs, school and boat trips, is heartbreaking. It really broke my heart to read Phil's guilt for being not the perfect son in front of this perfect woman, his need of writing so he would not disappear completely. But Jourdan sharpens the edges of past events majestically, his Queen's English becomes elegantly scurrilous only once shit gets hard, thus effectively. His truth turns into a smooth narrative and readers don't know what's real and what not anymore, like a dream while half asleep. The author plays with us in his own universe, so we are not overwhelmed.We learn that Jourdan doesn't believe the world is worth of Sophia, yet he forgives it for this lack of class. When escorted into the author's imagination, when Jourdan tricks us so well into his mother's secrets as a spy, into her childhood – until we get to the book's revelation – we also learn how to still find good in humans. Phil's narration is so clear, yet so spirited, I traveled along a family's home life, through the deepest concepts on human experience, and it didn't feel extraneous.The last chapters are the very treasure in Praise of Motherhood. You wouldn't think you could find so many twists to a memoir, such variance in pace, so many styles and atmospheres in such a concise work. This gem is highly recommended, especially for readers who want to see some creative barriers bypassed – in a neat and promising style.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-14 07:53

    As a way to prepare the reader I offer a quick summary from the back of the book: 'Psychoanalysis, poetry, and confession all merge to tell the story of an ordinary woman whose death turned her into a symbol for extraordinary motherhood.' Reading this book made me feel like I was meeting a very delicate and vulnerable person and needed to be careful not even to think the wrong thing, lest I shatter a carefully constructed façade. You are in the middle of another person’s most painful and complex thoughts at a terrifying and lonely time. I strongly encourage anyone who picks up this book to read the introduction by Caleb J. Ross as preparation. One of the beautiful things about this book is how the author managed to present so clearly the intimacy of his relationship with his mother and the experience of remembering her in grief. I have never before read a book where the voice of someone who has already passed comes to life so convincingly. By the end of the book I thought of the author not as “Phil Jourdan,” but “Philippe,” the child she loved. The author narrates from the perspective of an impetuous young person, and as such insists upon breaking many of the usual rules and conventions which results in various delightful effects. At one place a dream is rendered with all its unsettling details from the beginning, and expected bits of punctuation are left out. Chapter eleven deserves an especially close reading as a voice that is rarely heard from makes a brief appearance. The best things, though, are the passages that introduce us to the distinctive intelligence at work and a powerful honesty. Early on the author presents these words: 'The taboo of the child enamored of his parent is easy to misunderstand. The vulgarity of treating love as a purely sexual thing should be dismissed immediately. To be in love with your mother does not have to mean what common parlance would have it mean. When she died, I tried to think up things about my mother that I found repulsive: there was little. Perhaps, then, I had idealized her to such an extent that I was, in the literal sense, in love with her.' Passages like this set the reader up to understand that though expected rules are not followed, though we are often in the mind of someone who is very troubled, we know the author is in control of every device and trust that our careful reading will be rewarded. One unique aspect of this book is a sense of extreme intimacy with the workings of another mind and the trials of another soul. This is what makes Praise of Motherhood so important.

  • C.L. Roman
    2019-02-20 00:52

    Praise of Motherhood by Phil Jourdan, is not, in fact, a book which praises motherhood so much as it praises his mother, a woman at once intimately human and ultimately iconic. It is a searingly honest, intensely personal memoir with a lazer-like focus on the relationship between an emotionally unstable child and the mother who loved him."To put it simply: I loved my mother because she was a terrible beauty, because she was my Mommy, because she was Love manifest. It was a religious, feverish thing, irreducible to the jargon of the expert therapist…Everyone, even in his profoundest hatred, loves his mother."Jourdan speaks of hearing the news of his mother’s illness and later her death, of the relationship they shared and her unending patience and love while raising him. He talks of his life in boarding school and multiple admissions to the hospital due to mental breakdowns. Throughout, the point of view is unashamedly first person and the reader can never be sure how much of what Jourdan tells us is factually correct; all events are filtered thru the speaker’s own mind, which he admits freely is an unbalanced one in many ways. And yet, even with this possibility in mind, there is no question of subterfuge or evasion. Jourdan tells the truth as he knows it, which is all any of us can do.Though it sometimes appears to be told from the fringes of sanity, Praise of Motherhood somehow manages to be both true and brilliantly evocative. Jourdan explores emotional avenues that, dark and strange as they may be, are familiar enough that the reader never gets lost."Mother was dead but there was still food in her fridge. What do you do with a dead woman’s food? You don’t eat it. That is like eating death itself. I gave it all to the dogs…That was the first night. She’d been dead three hours and already, like the selfish boy I was and am, I’d started removing little pieces of her from her own house.”Pathways of loss, love, guilt and rage are revealed to us in all their untidy glory and we are led to understand and empathize with Jourdan's pain in ways that a more balanced approach might not allow.Despite some rather interesting departures from The Chicago Manual of Style rules, readers who enjoy a unique point of view, or who have recently lost a loved one will find this book almost impossible to put down.Praise of MotherhoodPhil Jourdan

  • Liesel Hill
    2019-02-06 00:55

    Praise of Motherhood is a very interesting book. It's very...different. And I don't necessarily mean in a bad way. I'll admit that when I first started this book, I didn't like it very much. The narrator is very negative and his view of the world is rather odd. If I hadn't already committed to reading it in order to be part of the blog tour, I probably wouldn't have finished it.That said, I'm actually very glad that I'd committed to the tour, because I'm glad I stuck it out and finished the book. It ended up being very intriguing and very touching.This book is written in the first person. It is a narrative by a boy about his mother. He starts with getting the news that she's had an aneurysm and getting on a plane with his sister. By the time they got there, she was already gone. The narrative is very stream-of-consciousness. It's almost as though he's rambling about his mom. One thought or memory reminds him of something else so he jumps to that. We get a lot of his own thoughts about things--and they tend to be very negative. Despite all the jumping around, it's not confusing, as you might think. The descriptions of his memories are all very vivid and clear, just not linear.As for his negativity, it becomes clear about a third of the way through the book that, especially as a teenager, this boy was mentally unstable. He briefly touches on a few meltdowns, a few hospital stays. He even says he was a teenager who contemplated the whole Columbine thing, and he credits his mother's constant love and understanding with single-handedly keeping him from actually doing it. The instant mental illness entered the picture, he became a fascinating character study to me.Is this book for everyone? No. As I said, it's very different at first. Plus, being a troubled, rebellious teen gives rise to plenty of cussing and some sex talk. I wouldn't give this book an R rating, but expect a solid PG-13, hovering toward R.Overall I ended up enjoying this book. It was a tribute to his mother, not as the world saw her and not even necessarily as she really was, but as HE, her troubled son, saw her and loved her. While he doesn't by far go into every part of who she was, and that may leave you wanting more, it ends up being a profound, touching tribute to a woman by the only person who knew her exactly like he did.Visit my blogs for more reviews: lkhill.blogspot.com & musingsonfantasia.blogspot.com.

  • Jai
    2019-02-13 00:56

    You know how with some novels, you don't really get into them until after a few chapters? This is not one of them. At page 4, I put my hand on my heart, and told it to be still and strong because this might hurt a bit.It did. A lot.My praise for Phil Jourdan (which I wrote on my notes) started with his prose - the flow of his words was amazing. I think because of his honesty, all the words fell into their right places (probably even if he didn't try).Everything else followed: the story, the characters, the feelings. With most of the books I read, I almost always imagine myself to be the people in the book, but not with this one. I was okay to be a part of the audience, I preferred to listen and in between lines, I whispered, "I know exactly what you mean."Praise of Motherhood is a story about loss in general. I meant to say that you'll relate to it if you've lost someone dear to you, but I guess that's not true because you'll feel it even if you haven't been through the same experience. Phil Jourdan penned his story so genuinely that it will cut your heart by merely reading it.I wish I can write more about the book, but I can't without giving it away. I wish I have someone else to talk to about this because it's too much to keep to myself. Good books are meant to be discussed with others, don't you think?

  • Kathleen
    2019-02-20 04:38

    The Praise of Motherhood is a poignant memoir that will pull at your heartstrings. Written in a thoughtful way, author Phil Jourdan weaves an inspiring story that is filled with raw emotion and honest reflections of his life with his mother, Sophia. The reader is immediately drawn into Phil's story, you can't help but feel the full gamut of emotions as he reveals a most candid and vivid description of his childhood and the pain of the personal loss of his mother.The Praise of Motherhood is a touching and poignant account of a son's relationship with his mother. It is also a story that everyone can relate to and provides food for thought to pause for a moment and ponder about their own relationships. Author Phil Jourdan has written a beautiful memoir that honors his mother, she would have been so proud of him.Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour media blitz event hosted by Novel Publicity.http://jerseygirlbookreviews.blogspot...

  • Martin Garrity
    2019-02-14 05:32

    Phil Jourdan has chosen an interesting style for his memoir. The timeline isn't linear, and there is a large amount of speculation and projection on his behalf. These tools he chose to use work well. They help us get a true grip on his mindset, and for such a short book it is impressive how much of a portrait he manages to paint.The book is very sad at times. Read the first chapter for a good example of how well Phil can handle sensitive and painful matters. He does this a few times along the way. So yes, the book is rather sombre in tone. However I firmly insist that a sob-story is not enough on its own, after all, these days who doesn't have a sad story or two to tell? The magic ingredient is the ability to write in a way that it can make a complete stranger care about another person's problems. Memoir needs to be absorbing. It needs to be challenging. It has to compete with the entertainment value offered by the ever-expanding realms of fiction.Praise Of Motherhood does all of those things. I am glad that it was kept down to the length that it was, any longer and it may have started to lose impact. As is, it's an interesting and thought-provoking read.Good stuff.

  • Alexandrea Hills
    2019-02-07 05:47

    I won this good through Goodreads giveaways.Phil Jourdain is well-read, citing Freud, Oedipus, Kafka and other great minds, challenging their thoughts and applying his own. He is a very intellectual write.You follow Phil's childhood and adolescence, and you begin to understand his feelings, doubts, fears, thoughts and obsessions. You feel his intense pain of being alive and feeling out place in society.I think this book is more about Phil's life and what he goes through then about getting to know his real relationship with his mother. You do get the feeling that his mother is the perfect ideal Mother, present, caring, sensitive, loving unconditionally. I didn't get that Phil was praising motherhood in this book. You understand his love and commitment to his mother but I don't think that he showed how strong his mother must of been through all the rough teenage years. I was expecting his mother to have a stronger voice in the book.

  • Sarah Butland
    2019-02-19 02:54

    Phil Jourdan is brilliant and troubled. His simple words, complex experiences and troubling therapeutic methods equal a brilliant novel that you can tell is both healing and feel how touching it is.With his mothers sudden death in 2009 Phil expressed his journey through life with a mother who loved him and stood by his interesting antics. The answers she left will live on with him and his readers forever but so will the questions.Was she really a spy? Did she really die? What was real and imagined in the authors mind is for the reader to reveal with every turn of the page.Praise of Motherhood takes us on a journey from an ordinary single parent to an extraordinary woman. Phil discovers for us that mother’s are not just mom’s, they are people too.Thanks for reading,Sarah Butland author of Sending You Sammy, Brain Tales – Volume One and Arm Farm

  • Underground Book Reviews
    2019-02-02 06:32

    Praise of Motherhood is a memoir about the life and death of Phil Jourdain's mother, who stood by him throughout his tumultuous childhood. As much as the book is about his mother, it is about him: the hallucinations and violent urges that hospitalized him and defined his youth. To me, the book is a psychological study. On the one hand, we have a well-read, analytical narrator who seems to have his wits about him. On the other hand, we have a psychotic young man who simultaneously hates and loves his mother. The reader must ask, how can these two people be the same?Read the rest of this review at Underground Book Reviews dot com.

  • Gabriella
    2019-02-08 05:35

    This is a fantastic and unique book, both a memoir and a novel, as honest as it is imaginative. Phil Jourdan deals with the question of what a person leaves behind after they die and the parts of them that will always remain hidden. He is warm, candid and questioning- all things that make this book more than just a touching account of a son's relationship with his mother, but also an intelligent and stirring exploration of our understanding of ourselves and the people we love. A genuinely wonderful read.

  • Erika Mages
    2019-02-02 06:59

    This wouldn't have been a book I would've read if it wasn't because it fell in my hands... And I must admit that I wasn't able to put it down until it was over. "Loved it" might be strong words to use (specially for Phil Jourdan) but I did, books that can make me cry are hard to find and this was one of those.Meeting Phil's mother through his eyes was endearing and surprising. So I wonder how this young fellow was able to cope with the loss of such an amazing woman? How many more secrets where there that we will never know?A "must read" book ^_^