In Letters to My Daughters, famed political consultant and TV personality Mary Matalin shares the moral, ethical, and occasionally comic life lessons gleaned from her mother's experiences and her own. These intimate, personal letters range from the spiritual to the practical, from giving life to accepting death, from civic to personal responsibility, from looking and feeling good to dealing with those pesky boys, and more.
Here's a sampling of the mother wisdom found in these pages:
Crying is not a weakness; it's cathartic and cleansing. People who live life with the fullest commitment tend to cry a lot. It's a healthy expression of deep emotions. I don't like or trust people who don't or can't cry.
When I tell you I understand what you're going through, it's not just because I remember what it felt like to be a teenage girl whose body is being hijacked by hormones against her will. It's because I'm a fifty-something whose body is being hijacked by hormones against her will at this very moment. And if you don't believe me, just ask your father.
I believe in my heart of hearts that a life without faith is unanchored and unfulfilling. Without it, you're just wandering in the desert. You experience deeply that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- and the singing is damn good.
Ma had a complex philosophy of sex, which I heard almost every day from age ten. "Boys would screw a snake if it would lay still long enough." Let's flash forward forty years and allow your mother to give you a twenty-first-century take on boys and S-E-X: "Boys would screw a snake if it would lay still long enough."...And the men in Washington think that's a compliment.
A deep sense of loyalty can help you overcome almost any bump in the road. The disloyal may advantage themselves in some work situations, but their gains will be temporary, fleeting. They will fail their institutions, their colleagues, and worst of all, themselves.
Filled with warmth, common sense, a belief in the values that keep families strong, and her trademark sense of humor, Mary Matalin's letters will inspire, guide, entertain, and inform. They're the perfect companion for any mother looking for a smart, sensible fellow traveler on the road to raising good daughters.
Mary Matalin served as assistant to President George W. Bush and counselor to Vice President Dick Cheney. She hosted CNN's Crossfire, was founding cohost of Equal Time, and recently starred in Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's K Street. She also co-authored with her husband, James Carville, the bestselling All's Fair: Love, War, and Running for President. She and Carville reside in Virginia with their daughters, Matalin "Matty" Carville and Emerson Normand Carville, as well as three dogs, four cats, two hamsters, and two turtles (two of which coincidentally are ingredients in her husband's gumbo). At PTA meetings, she is known to remind people that she is an expert on children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, having married one in 1993.