On the Shelf: 'My Mother's Clothes' and a Giveaway!

This past Mother's Day, along with all the other sweet handmade trinkets my children gave me for being "the best mom we ever had" (yes, that is a direct quote from my kiddies!), I received one present that I had to share with you.
When I first reached for it across the breakfast table, my daughter told me to "save it for last mommy because it's a book that daddy said you are going to love and you will need some alone time for it". Well, with an introduction like that, I was very eager to get my hands on it but it was well worth the wait!
My family obviously knows me very well (as they should!) and while I am not into clutter of any sort, they know I will always find one more perfect spot on the already crammed bookshelves to tuck away another treasure, which is exactly what this new book has turned into for me, an absolute treasure!

The treasure I speak of, 'My Mother's Clothes', comes to us from author and photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron. This sweet and touching memoir of photographs reads like a mini biography of her mother, Eleanor Montgomery Atuk, devoted wife, beloved mother and as the author puts it "a genteel force in Atlanta society".
When her mother's memory started to show signs of fading due to Alzheimer's, Jeannette Montgomery Barron did what she knew best, she took her camera out and simply started snapping some pictures. She began cataloguing her mother's chic wardrobe in a series of photographs as a way to draw those long-ago memories back to the surface. These images of her mother's clothes eventually evolved into so much more. They evolved into a daughter's loving tribute to her mother and a way to preserve memories of her as she battled with this horrible disease that eventually took her away from her family, friends and the world that she loved.
To say that I adore this book would be an understatement as I have found myself going back to it, flipping through it again and again, every day since I got it. I had read some reviews of the book before I received it but in no way could they have prepared me for how deeply I would be touched by the author's photos and words, not only as a mother, but more so as a daughter of a mum I admire, love and can't imagine a world without,  much like Jeannette Montgomery Barron.

Click on the clip below for a small taste of what is in store for you!

Now for the really exciting part!! I have a copy of this fabulous book, signed by the author herself, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, to send to one lucky reader, just read below for all the contest information!
Many, many thanks to the author, Jeannette Montgomery Barron and her publisher, Lena Tabori of Welcome Books, for all their much appreciated help!

To enter the giveaway:
1. Leave a comment on this post for 1 entry.
2. Become a new follower for 1 entry (if you are already a follower, let me know, it will count for 1 entry).
3. Post about this giveaway on your blog for 1 entry.
4. Tweet about this giveaway for 1 entry.
You can put all of your entry information in one comment and the winner will be announced on Monday, May 24, 2010.
Good luck to everyone!


  1. What a great book!
    I am a follower and I am putting this on the sidebar of my blog!

    Thanks for hosting such a nice giveaway!

  2. What a novel idea for a book. It must have been like a trip down memory lane cataloging and amassing all the fabulous clothes that her mother wore! I am already a follower...would love a chance at this...I guess I have 2 chances so far! Thank you!

  3. Amazing looking book. I would love to read it.

    I am a follower

    Thank you.

  4. Thank you for this wonderful post! I am so happy the book touched you so.

  5. Interesting book.Thanks for sharing it.

  6. The book sounds wonderful! Great giveaway! & I am a follower ;)

    ♥ Daniëlle

  7. This is so lovely! I have a photographer friend who has been documenting his childhood by taking pictures of his favorite toys, knick knacks etc. before his parents empty out their garage and give things to thrift stores.

  8. This sounds like a beautiful book, what a lovely giveaway. I'm already a follower :)

  9. Lily, your family is so thoughtful!

    Your lovely Blog is one of the first blogs I followed!

    The book sounds delightful! Hope to win it :)

  10. What a beautiful book! I especially like the fur and the appointment book. So touching!

  11. I perused through this book last week. I adore it! Count me in!!!! I follow. I am commenting. I will link you on my sidebar and I will Tweet!!! Woo Hoo!!!

  12. 1) Such a great giveaway! I would love this book! It looks amazing.
    2) I am a new follower
    3) I posted this giveaway on my "giveaway sidebar" on my blog, http://www.friedpinktomato.com

    Thanks so much!

  13. This book and the video clip touched me immensely especially since the first anniversary from my mother's passing occurred just 2 Sundays ago on Mother's Day & my mum was born in 1926 so she was practically this lady's age. It was my responsiblity to clear my mother's wardrobe after she passed away and it was heart-wrenching. I kept the most special things, the ones with the fondest memories. This book looks like the next best thing a daugther could do to celebrate her mother.
    I am already your follower and you are on my blog. Thanks for letting us in on this lovely book.

  14. This sounds like an amazing book. And I'm glad I found your blog - through Tish of Une Femme.

    I'll be following you.

  15. 1) This looks like a wonderful book! What a wonderful giveaway!

    2) I am a follower!

  16. Oh please put me in. And of course, I am a loyal follower. Off to tweet now...

  17. 1) Great giveaway!
    2) I'm a new follower!

  18. Ooh, how exciting. I'm already a follower so put me down for two entries. Fingers crossed!

  19. What a lovely thing to do.
    My Grandmother would spend hours showing me all her clothes (and the contents of her freezer which wasn't as exciting :)
    Have you read "My mothers Wedding Dress: the life and afterlife of clothes" by Justine Picardie? She is a wonderful writer for The London Telegraph. If not, I think you'd love it.
    I would really, really like to own this book as I have been collecting and wearing vintage clothing for years, and always imagine what kind of journey led them to me.
    I am a new and avid follower. Thanks!

  20. Lovely idea, Thinking about my mother's clothes -- interesting, she and I are like chalk and cheese, her the bohemian and me the glammy preppy girl...mind you, her jewellery is to die for.

    Loved the book, just read a bit more about it online, and the video...stunning. Hope you are well, life is much to manic for be to be surfing the web these days...looking forward to catching up soon on the other side. Can't wait for your blog post, I thought of you on Sat while we were on Portobello, so many great first edition domestic books -- I just know you have many of them on your shelves.

  21. What a wonderful giveaway! I have been reading your blog for a while, but I just became a follower officially. Thank you!

    Jen in Florida

  22. What a wonderful giveaway. I love your blog! Thank you for always being inspiring and clever!

  23. Great giveaway! I have loved looking around your blog! :)

  24. Just watched the video clip and have finally stopped crying. I knew and loved Ms. Ellie. I'm sure everyone who knew her did. Yes, she had beautiful clothes, which only complimented the beautiful woman she was. Sorry I missed the chance to get an autographed copy. I am happy to have had the priviledge of knowing her for a short while.