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Eye of My Heart    edited by Barbara Graham order for
Eye of My Heart
by Barbara Graham
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

Fuzzy, traditional Gramma stories soothe us. Yet, in our modern, technological world, the quaint Gramma is rare. Editor Barbara Graham wondered, where are the real stories? The ones from the 'working women, the non-doters, the grandmothers who were raising their grandchildren or kept from them by angry adult children?' Not able to find much written, Graham determined to gather 27 of these equally valid stories. The result is called, Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother.

Several stories deal with transcontinental relationships, grandchildren who are seen, at best, a couple times a year. Ah! But, thank goodness for the Internet, a tool some recalcitrant grammas now deign to use. In one story, a baby given up for adoption by an unwed teenage mother of the '50s is found, and, now, that mother who never mothered a baby gets the opportunity to grandmother one when her daughter gives birth to a girl. Another mom whose pregnant, teen daughter is diagnosed with severe mental illness, battles feelings of anger, despair, and love for her grandson, whom this sixty-something woman is now raising. One happy grandma of six grandchildren gets to see them nearly every week, another crafts memorable vacations for hers so when the grandchildren get older, they'll remember her when she's gone. These stories and others in the book are moving, unnerving, informing, and transforming. You won't remain unaffected. These are real stories, truthful stories that lay bare the raw emotion surrounding the wonderment of grandmother-grandchild relationships found in our times.

The editor, Barbara Graham, is the author of Women who Run with Poodles, and is also a playwright, and a frequent contributor to numerous magazines. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, and has one grandchild.

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