Book review: ‘Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons & Love Affairs’ by Pearl Cleage

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Bestselling author Pearl Cleage has penned a brilliant and personal memoir. Cleage is one of the most popular playwrights in America. Along with receiving numerous awards, she was also selected as an Oprah Book Club pick. Her craft and gift of writing is simply ingenious.

Cleage initially wanted to leave her journals to her granddaughter. However, her daughter vetoed that decision and suggested that she get rid of them. Before sharing her candid, pure, and inspiring journals with the world, Cleage decided to re-read them. She wanted to see if she could find any legitimate reasons for her daughter not wanting them to remain in the family.


The book is authentic and honest. It touches on issues that young ladies may be curious about, but may never have the opportunity or the relationship to have an open dialect with their mom; like what it feels like to be in love, but feel humiliated at the same time. Sometimes, we may not know how to maneuver through life after being dealt a horrific blow. This read is definitely inspiring and you feel stronger and encouraged to make a difference. From love, marriage, politics, American history, abortion, death, and racism; a little bit of everything is within this journal.

Instead of concealing your truth and experiences from your child, why not let them get a glimpse of what you have gone through? A journal is not a book of shame, but something you can look back on and realize how much you’ve grown.  Kudos to Cleage for sharing her story and leaving us with the idea to journal and share ours. ….lili


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