Sinclair Browning,
Feathers Brush My Heart:
True Stories of Mothers
Touching Their Daughters'
Lives After Death

(Warner Books, 2002)

This is a fascinating book that can be read cover to cover or as a volume to dip into at intervals.

Basically, it is book about ghosts -- but these are always benign ones. It recounts the fact that so many women feel a special bond with their mothers that lasts beyond the grave. Apparently, the book was inspired by a campfire chat that led author Sinclair Browning to seek out similar experiences among other women. She sought and she most certainly found.

The book contains almost 70 testimonies to the power of the maternal bond. The tales range in size from just over a single printed page to six or seven. The stories are in many cases open to interpretation, as in the case of the sisters in their 70s, Lois and Betty, who recount the story of the only white dove they ever saw on their patio appearing on the day of their mother's cremation. Ruth tells of her belief that her mother guided her to get her father to publish his stories.

I enjoyed this book and its format of giving a potted biography of the person relating the story. The skeptic will see in many of these tales a sort of wish fulfillment -- a daughter holding on to a memory and making more of a chance episode than is truly there. This could be the case, but even so, how can we be sure that a mother is not the spirit propelling the daughter to that belief?

The one note that I wondered about was the generally held belief that the mother-son and daughter-father bonds are the stronger -- so why this mother-daughter contact? On reflection, maybe the mother realizes that females are more open to the spiritual connection, so decides not to waste valuable time connecting with a male who will rationalize any event into obscure non-existence.

This book will provide an emotional solace to the bereaved and may open some people's minds to the possibility of contact by a deceased mother and thereby allow the connection. In any event it is a nice read and easy to enjoy.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 6 July 2002

Buy it from