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Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings

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The author of Walking on Eggshells turns her wisdom to the sometimes heartbreaking but always meaningful bond between brothers and  sisters—a  must-read for anyone blessed with the gift (or burden) of a sibling. There’s a myth out there that good relations between brothers and sisters do not include conflict, annoyance, disagreement, or mixed feelings. Isay believes this i The author of Walking on Eggshells turns her wisdom to the sometimes heartbreaking but always meaningful bond between brothers and  sisters—a  must-read for anyone blessed with the gift (or burden) of a sibling. There’s a myth out there that good relations between brothers and sisters do not include conflict, annoyance, disagreement, or mixed feelings. Isay believes this is a destructive myth, one that makes people doubt the strength of the connection with their siblings. Brothers and sisters may love and hate, fight and forgive, but they never forget their early bonds. Based on scores of interviews with brothers and sisters young and old, Mom Still Likes You Best features real-life stories that show how differences caused by family feuds, marriages, distance, or ancient history can be overcome. The result is a vivid portrait of siblings, in love and war.


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The author of Walking on Eggshells turns her wisdom to the sometimes heartbreaking but always meaningful bond between brothers and  sisters—a  must-read for anyone blessed with the gift (or burden) of a sibling. There’s a myth out there that good relations between brothers and sisters do not include conflict, annoyance, disagreement, or mixed feelings. Isay believes this i The author of Walking on Eggshells turns her wisdom to the sometimes heartbreaking but always meaningful bond between brothers and  sisters—a  must-read for anyone blessed with the gift (or burden) of a sibling. There’s a myth out there that good relations between brothers and sisters do not include conflict, annoyance, disagreement, or mixed feelings. Isay believes this is a destructive myth, one that makes people doubt the strength of the connection with their siblings. Brothers and sisters may love and hate, fight and forgive, but they never forget their early bonds. Based on scores of interviews with brothers and sisters young and old, Mom Still Likes You Best features real-life stories that show how differences caused by family feuds, marriages, distance, or ancient history can be overcome. The result is a vivid portrait of siblings, in love and war.

30 review for Mom Still Likes You Best: The Unfinished Business Between Siblings

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    I was really looking forward to this book and was quite disappointed. While this short book acts as a study on sibling relationships it reads more like a longer article rather then published advice book. Based on the description I was expecting an advice book not a general study. Isay has great insight into the sibling relationship but did not take her work to the level I would have liked to have seen. Instead she summarizes all of her interviewee's stories. I felt it would have been more interes I was really looking forward to this book and was quite disappointed. While this short book acts as a study on sibling relationships it reads more like a longer article rather then published advice book. Based on the description I was expecting an advice book not a general study. Isay has great insight into the sibling relationship but did not take her work to the level I would have liked to have seen. Instead she summarizes all of her interviewee's stories. I felt it would have been more interesting had she set up each story with a quick intro by including its relevancy to her points and then inserting the sibling story in their own words. Instead Isay summarized each interview saying say "Rebbecca told me that...then she stated..." This format lacked in its overall appeal and did not engage me as a reader. While I feel there is some great insight into siblings relationships it does not allow the reader to connect and be a part of the book. Isay keeps the reader at arms length and does not fully engage her audience in her findings. Instead of making the book into an advice book on how to better interact with your sibling the reader is left with a long report on different types/forms of sibling relationships.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Smith

    Ms. Isay has clearly done many, many interviews with adult siblings. She has synthesized these interviews into a series of chapters about different types of relationships adult siblings have. She also discusses how the experiences we have with our siblings when we are young influence how we react to them as adults. The emotions we felt for our siblings as children can over ride our adult intellect and throw us right back into that conflict, struggle, or, if things went well, that comfort zone. M Ms. Isay has clearly done many, many interviews with adult siblings. She has synthesized these interviews into a series of chapters about different types of relationships adult siblings have. She also discusses how the experiences we have with our siblings when we are young influence how we react to them as adults. The emotions we felt for our siblings as children can over ride our adult intellect and throw us right back into that conflict, struggle, or, if things went well, that comfort zone. Ms. Isay sometimes lets her joy of telling antidotes overwhelm the book chapters, however. Sometimes it was difficult to remember what the chapter was about or understand how a particular story illustrated that concept. If you are looking for solutions, as I was when reading this book, you will be disappointed. Ms. Isay had a mother who was a psychologist and a father who was a psychiatrist, so she has the language of psychology down. However, she has been an editor almost all of her career, and is now a writer. This book is more a long article, with lots of examples from interviews, then a guide to changing your relationship with your sibling. Most of the stories are entertaining and well written. If you wonder if your relationship is normal, this book can show you examples with which to compare the relationship you have with your siblings. If you are looking for a way to mend or change that relationship, however, you will find scant help here.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth☮

    as the youngest child of six, i was completely interested in the content of this book. but i have to say that, ultimately, i am disappointed in what it says. basically isay has collected a series of interviews of various siblings and their relations with other older, younger, distant, twin, any combination of sibling! and while i read and found the stories engaging, i felt that the book lacked any real type of of insight or follow through. i guess i thought there would be psychoanalysis of some k as the youngest child of six, i was completely interested in the content of this book. but i have to say that, ultimately, i am disappointed in what it says. basically isay has collected a series of interviews of various siblings and their relations with other older, younger, distant, twin, any combination of sibling! and while i read and found the stories engaging, i felt that the book lacked any real type of of insight or follow through. i guess i thought there would be psychoanalysis of some kind of what drives certain behaviors among siblings, but there is not any real explanation, other than speculation, about what drives brothers and sisters to do the things they do to one another. in the end, a good premise, but not enough meat to what is offered.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Having mixed feelings about brothers and sisters doesn't mean you don't love them, or that you're somehow deficient. Jane Isay, author of Mom Still Likes You Best, makes that abundantly clear. All readers will find their particular story in this thoughtfully, detailed book about sibling rivalry. Having mixed feelings about brothers and sisters doesn't mean you don't love them, or that you're somehow deficient. Jane Isay, author of Mom Still Likes You Best, makes that abundantly clear. All readers will find their particular story in this thoughtfully, detailed book about sibling rivalry.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Liya Brooks

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Jane Isay's novel on the relationship of siblings, regardless of gender, and how parental guidance differed between them shines a light on how a childhood really had an effect on their adulthood. The book started out with a summary of how Isay grew to understand an older siblings influence on the youngers, and how their relationship can grow or wither over time. She gave examples of different relationships between children, and why they make certain actions or feel a certain way, such as jealous Jane Isay's novel on the relationship of siblings, regardless of gender, and how parental guidance differed between them shines a light on how a childhood really had an effect on their adulthood. The book started out with a summary of how Isay grew to understand an older siblings influence on the youngers, and how their relationship can grow or wither over time. She gave examples of different relationships between children, and why they make certain actions or feel a certain way, such as jealousy or adoration. The entire book seems to revolve around the subject of careful parenting, and why giving more or less attention can be crucial to their child's personality and future careers. She shows why behavior either seems rambunctious/social or seems to hide behind a shadow, depending on the child's age or place in the family. Such as an older child taking up more responsibility, a middle child seeming reckless, and a youngest seeming care-free or 'babied'. Overall, Isay does a wonderful job exploring the wonders of a child's mind and giving key information to parents, or just curious siblings, on why children react in certain familial situations and how to refrain from making a child feel less important than another.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    “Siblings are islands of permanence in a sea of change. One of the constants in your life.” Stories of sibling appreciation and conflict to relate with as we mature through stages of life. Growing up is about diverging. Maturity is about accepting. We eventually come to see siblings as they are today not as they were growing up. In some cases repressed “nursery feelings” will resurface if unresolved issues are present. Notes for dealing with personality differences between sibling spouses. Goal “Siblings are islands of permanence in a sea of change. One of the constants in your life.” Stories of sibling appreciation and conflict to relate with as we mature through stages of life. Growing up is about diverging. Maturity is about accepting. We eventually come to see siblings as they are today not as they were growing up. In some cases repressed “nursery feelings” will resurface if unresolved issues are present. Notes for dealing with personality differences between sibling spouses. Goal to be embracing and accepting of every ones weirdness. One of the things that keeps siblings together is persistence. Avoid being wedding and wake siblings. Affinity clause or we become permanent strangers. The legacy of favoritism.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    meh.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    Non-fiction self-help book about sibling relationships and family. Insightful into the struggles other families have, how some overcome the problems and others just walk away.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    2.5 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    p 106 Growing up is about diverging; maturity is about accepting. p 176A friend of mine tells me that the Hindu religion speaks of a time when people achieve a certain age and may go into the forest. They have accomplished their life goals of marriage, and children, and work. Now they enter a time when new choices are available. Entering the forest, we may decide to reconnect with people we have lost, or to distance ourselves from others. But our first question as we enter the forest is about who p 106 Growing up is about diverging; maturity is about accepting. p 176A friend of mine tells me that the Hindu religion speaks of a time when people achieve a certain age and may go into the forest. They have accomplished their life goals of marriage, and children, and work. Now they enter a time when new choices are available. Entering the forest, we may decide to reconnect with people we have lost, or to distance ourselves from others. But our first question as we enter the forest is about who we are. Are we carriers of grief and rage? There are parts of the forest where we may leave those feelings. Is there longing in our hearts for those who we have hurt, and who have hurt us? There is a place in the forest where we may find them. As we wander, we may become tired and lose hope, or the passions we brought with us may abate. We may need to sit awhile and consider the leaves as they move in the wind, and we may drink a bit from the rushing stream. Finally, as we leave this place, we may, if we are very lucky, find what we have been looking for: our better selves, the part of us that can love and forgive, play and dance, mourn and cry, and look up to the heavens with joy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    I was disappointed with this book. When I picked it up, I was expecting a book with advice on how to handle the so-called "Unfinished Business Between Siblings". Instead the book was mostly a collection of stories about the many different types of relationships between siblings, narrated by the author. There was some insight into the nature of sibling relationships, but very little in the way of steps for repairing broken relationships. I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my younger I was disappointed with this book. When I picked it up, I was expecting a book with advice on how to handle the so-called "Unfinished Business Between Siblings". Instead the book was mostly a collection of stories about the many different types of relationships between siblings, narrated by the author. There was some insight into the nature of sibling relationships, but very little in the way of steps for repairing broken relationships. I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my younger sister, my only sibling, so perhaps most disappointing and frustrating for me was that I did not recognize myself among any of the stories. I would recommend this book to people interested in reading about the many facets and challenges of a sibling relationship (as the author puts it, "the gift and the burden"), but not for anyone looking for advice on how to mend an adult sibling relationship.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Owen

    I’m still not entirely sure why the author wrote this book. It appeared to just be a collection of different stories of different siblings. Most of it was depressing to me- I have a warm and loving family that occasionally drives me completely insane, but most of the people in these stories were legitimately dysfunctional and needed professional help. Also, I’m just not sure why the author structured the book the way she did- it didn’t seem to have an overarching theme beyond ‘All families are d I’m still not entirely sure why the author wrote this book. It appeared to just be a collection of different stories of different siblings. Most of it was depressing to me- I have a warm and loving family that occasionally drives me completely insane, but most of the people in these stories were legitimately dysfunctional and needed professional help. Also, I’m just not sure why the author structured the book the way she did- it didn’t seem to have an overarching theme beyond ‘All families are different.’ Even the ending seemed anticlimactic- she had story after story of siblings dealing with the death of their parents, ending with a touching one of people coming together after their parents’ deaths… in the penultimate chapter. Then another chapter happened, closing on a much less final note. Just not sure why, all around. Owen Gardner Finnegan

  13. 4 out of 5

    MaryChris

    I savored this book, dipping in slowly. Isay's years as an editor show in this tightly woven collection of sibling stories. No fat here, all meat. And what meat it is. Exploding both the myth of the eternally "loving" siblings, as well as the movie version of brothers and sisters forever at odds, she shows us reality. One where siblings love and hate, support and destroy, protect and shred each other, sometimes on a daily/hourly basis. I highly recommend this book for all siblings. The ones you I savored this book, dipping in slowly. Isay's years as an editor show in this tightly woven collection of sibling stories. No fat here, all meat. And what meat it is. Exploding both the myth of the eternally "loving" siblings, as well as the movie version of brothers and sisters forever at odds, she shows us reality. One where siblings love and hate, support and destroy, protect and shred each other, sometimes on a daily/hourly basis. I highly recommend this book for all siblings. The ones you love and the ones you haven't talked to in years! Buy, beg, or borrow a copy. Read it. Then give it to your siblings to read. You might just discover you have more in common that you thought! (I did.) Thanks Jane!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Hines

    MOM STILL LIKES YOU BEST is a compilation of stories of siblings. There are stories of very young children, and stories of siblings in their 30's, 40's, 50's and you get the picture. There are stories of just brothers, just sisters, brothers and sisters, and army brats. Stories of being the oldest, being the youngest, being the middle child. But throughout the book, as a sibling, I found myself nodding my head, "Oh yes, we did that" Or gasping out loud at some of the antics of these siblings. So MOM STILL LIKES YOU BEST is a compilation of stories of siblings. There are stories of very young children, and stories of siblings in their 30's, 40's, 50's and you get the picture. There are stories of just brothers, just sisters, brothers and sisters, and army brats. Stories of being the oldest, being the youngest, being the middle child. But throughout the book, as a sibling, I found myself nodding my head, "Oh yes, we did that" Or gasping out loud at some of the antics of these siblings. So if your a sibling, you'll enjoy MOM STILL LIKES YOU BEST. And if your an only child, but always thought you wanted a sibling, pick up the book too! You may learn a few things of what happens between brothers and sisters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rach

    Relationships with family, especially siblings, can be complicated and challenging, rewarding and close. More than anything, this is a book of stories, with interviews detailing many different kinds of sibling relationships. I appreciated the author's insights into how and why each set of siblings ended up relating to each other the way they did. I'm lucky enough to have a close relationship with most of my siblings, but this book reminds me that if I want us to stay that way, I might need to fi Relationships with family, especially siblings, can be complicated and challenging, rewarding and close. More than anything, this is a book of stories, with interviews detailing many different kinds of sibling relationships. I appreciated the author's insights into how and why each set of siblings ended up relating to each other the way they did. I'm lucky enough to have a close relationship with most of my siblings, but this book reminds me that if I want us to stay that way, I might need to fight for that someday. And I'm ready for it, because we're worth it, and we need each other, both now and in the future. I would recommend this book to everyone, regardless of if they have siblings or not, but especially to those who have troubled relationships with their siblings.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    The reviews on this book were mixed but I found I really enjoyed it. The way the author took me through all the phases of life with siblings through short, non-fiction, tales was exciting and validating. I saw many relationships that are very familiar to me, from my own w/ my brother to that of my parent's and their siblings. Isay said on many occasions that it's okay if siblings don't get along, sometimes it's hard to work through issues from childhood, but there's always hope of reconciliatio The reviews on this book were mixed but I found I really enjoyed it. The way the author took me through all the phases of life with siblings through short, non-fiction, tales was exciting and validating. I saw many relationships that are very familiar to me, from my own w/ my brother to that of my parent's and their siblings. Isay said on many occasions that it's okay if siblings don't get along, sometimes it's hard to work through issues from childhood, but there's always hope of reconciliation. It was also nice to know that I wasn't the only person who fought w/ my brother in a very fierce way. I'm glad I picked this book up!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This book was great! And I can certainly see now how all of my brothers and sisters all together make a "normal person". As I started reading, I thought that's not my family but by the time I finished the book I had found everyone of my seven brothers and sisters in there and myself as well. I can see that we have some growing up still to do and I'm certainly not looking forward to what interactions we'll have when anyone of us is gone. Loved the way the author used her interviews and stories to This book was great! And I can certainly see now how all of my brothers and sisters all together make a "normal person". As I started reading, I thought that's not my family but by the time I finished the book I had found everyone of my seven brothers and sisters in there and myself as well. I can see that we have some growing up still to do and I'm certainly not looking forward to what interactions we'll have when anyone of us is gone. Loved the way the author used her interviews and stories to establish the points.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this book off the shelf at the library but it just didn't grab me like most books do. I guess I thought it might be one of two things - a comical look at sibling relationships or advice on how to handle the tricky and sometimes slippery ties between siblings. I guess I was hoping to find information on dealing with my own challenging brother or helping my children love each other. The book fell short on MY expectations. It was just a bunch of inter I don't know what I was expecting when I picked this book off the shelf at the library but it just didn't grab me like most books do. I guess I thought it might be one of two things - a comical look at sibling relationships or advice on how to handle the tricky and sometimes slippery ties between siblings. I guess I was hoping to find information on dealing with my own challenging brother or helping my children love each other. The book fell short on MY expectations. It was just a bunch of interviews of various adult siblings but no real advice and the tone was very serious. Slow read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Book Him Danno

    Funny, I saw lots of myself and my 6 siblings in this book. Why do we fight, can we ever leave the past in the past? Will we ever be close again? Who knows, but your not alone. Siblings share things that others outside the family don't understand and that impacts your relationship forever. Are you the oldest or the baby, this all matters in how the dynamics mix. How close are you, and do you want to be closer? I enjoyed this book, lots of great stories and it made me feel better about my relatio Funny, I saw lots of myself and my 6 siblings in this book. Why do we fight, can we ever leave the past in the past? Will we ever be close again? Who knows, but your not alone. Siblings share things that others outside the family don't understand and that impacts your relationship forever. Are you the oldest or the baby, this all matters in how the dynamics mix. How close are you, and do you want to be closer? I enjoyed this book, lots of great stories and it made me feel better about my relationship with my family.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    The variety of relationships, good and bad and everything in between, were interesting and comforting, in that I realized how common my sibling relationships are. The presentation style is storytelling, so there weren't road signs announcing, "Here's a tip," which means, one must listen well to the nuances of the stories to benefit from the nuggets lying within. If one needs roads signs, and that isn't a bad thing if one is lost, then this book may not be helpful. If you're reading from a less s The variety of relationships, good and bad and everything in between, were interesting and comforting, in that I realized how common my sibling relationships are. The presentation style is storytelling, so there weren't road signs announcing, "Here's a tip," which means, one must listen well to the nuances of the stories to benefit from the nuggets lying within. If one needs roads signs, and that isn't a bad thing if one is lost, then this book may not be helpful. If you're reading from a less stranded position, then you may find this book helpful. But, it won't fix anything either way.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marjanne

    An overview of relationships between adult siblings. The author covers a variety of relationships, everything from siblings who love each other and have always been close, to those who have little to do with their siblings and whether they have any interest in changing their relationships. This book was an interesting read and made me reflect a little on my relationship with my siblings, my husband’s family, my parents and their siblings, etc.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    So I won this one on goodreads. It has taken me a while to get to wanting to read it. It is a compilation of stories about the feelings siblings have for each other through different parts of their lives. I didn't find it helpful. Basically saying that we need to find the key to our relationships, that we have to deal with our past hurt in order to move on, and we have to decide to just accept each other - duh! I'll pass it on and hope that someone can find it more useful. So I won this one on goodreads. It has taken me a while to get to wanting to read it. It is a compilation of stories about the feelings siblings have for each other through different parts of their lives. I didn't find it helpful. Basically saying that we need to find the key to our relationships, that we have to deal with our past hurt in order to move on, and we have to decide to just accept each other - duh! I'll pass it on and hope that someone can find it more useful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    Not really an advice manual, which is what I was hoping it would be. More a bunch of case studies about how parenting and childhood relationship affect adult relationship. Didn't really help me as a sister, but it focused my parenting a little bit. Not really an advice manual, which is what I was hoping it would be. More a bunch of case studies about how parenting and childhood relationship affect adult relationship. Didn't really help me as a sister, but it focused my parenting a little bit.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This book was not at all what I was expecting- probably because I didn't read to see what it was about before starting. It was kind of depressing hearing about a bunch of rocky sibling relationships but for some reason it drew me in enough to make me finish. This book was not at all what I was expecting- probably because I didn't read to see what it was about before starting. It was kind of depressing hearing about a bunch of rocky sibling relationships but for some reason it drew me in enough to make me finish.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Didn't tell me anything new that I didn't already know. Thought when I had browsed through it, looked like it might have some cute stories, but was the usual sibling kind of things. Probably geared more toward siblings that don't communicate anymore for various reasons. Glad I don't have that.:) Didn't tell me anything new that I didn't already know. Thought when I had browsed through it, looked like it might have some cute stories, but was the usual sibling kind of things. Probably geared more toward siblings that don't communicate anymore for various reasons. Glad I don't have that.:)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    This was a book about sibling relationships which really interested me. However, I didn't expect it to be stories about siblings. I expected it to be more of the psychology of sibling relationships. This was a book about sibling relationships which really interested me. However, I didn't expect it to be stories about siblings. I expected it to be more of the psychology of sibling relationships.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mindi

    The book got a little repetitive toward the end but enjoyed it for insights into my relationship with my siblings and the relationship developing between my children.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl

    Yay! I won another First Reads Giveaway! Just waiting for it to arrive in the mail and then I'll be updating & reviewing :-) Yay! I won another First Reads Giveaway! Just waiting for it to arrive in the mail and then I'll be updating & reviewing :-)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Won in the first reads contest.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    Can't wait to read this!!!!!! Can't wait to read this!!!!!!

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