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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Review - The Artist's Daughter by Alexandra Kuykendall


It takes a lifetime to know what--and who--defines you.
When Alexandra Kuykendall became a mother, she knew she had to go back to the beginning. To that hot July afternoon in Barcelona when she met her father for the first time. The only daughter of a single, world-traveling mother and an absent artist father, Alexandra embarks on a soul-searching trip into the past to make sense of the layers of her life--both the memories she experienced and the ones she wished for.

The Artist's Daughter will take you on a journey of discovery through childhood, marriage, and motherhood. Through short vignettes full of both wonder and heartache, Alexandra seeks answers to three life-defining questions: Am I lovable? Am I loved? Am I loving? If you long to better understand the path your life has taken, where it is heading, and who is guiding you, this revealing and refreshing story will push you toward those answers as it changes your heart.


I'm really of two minds about this book.  First of all, I enjoyed reading about Alexandra Kuykendall's experiences as a mother, about her journey to motherhood and her life with her very supportive husband and their daughters, and her work with M.O.P.S. (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers).

And I found it interesting to read about her life experience as the daughter of a Spanish artist father who had little to do with her life, except for unexpected instances of showing up and then leaving again. There is a lot of unclaimed baggage with that relationship that Kuykendall seems to try to work through, but it seemed unresolved at the end with her father's death.

That being said, I think Kuykendall's memoirs would have been better served if she had concentrated on one story or the other. It seemed a little bi-polar at times in the way it swung from her life as a mom to her life as an "abandoned" daughter.

"The Artist's Daughter" is an interesting memoir, just needed a little polishing, in my opinion.


Alexandra Kuykendall is on staff at MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers) where she encourages mothers of young children to keep growing as they take on their new mothering identity. She is a regular contributor and consulting editor to MomSense magazine, Connections magazine, and the MOPS blog. A frequent speaker for MOPS, Alexandra has been featured on Good Morning America.

As the mother of four young children, she continues to refine her mothering identity. She lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, Derek, and their daughters. Her website is www.alexandrakuykendall.com

My thanks to Revell Books for providing the review copy of this book. I was not compensated for my opinion.

Available may 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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