NAVIGATING LIFE: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me by Margaux Bergen & GIVEAWAY


Margaux Bergen’s book, NAVIGATING LIFE: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me (Penguin Press), began as a way to prepare her oldest daughter, Charlotte for the real world. Ten years into the job, basically verbally flying off the seat of her pants, she picked up a pen and started writing down the “tools” Charlotte would need to engage in the world and flourish. It was to be a guide to life, started by a mother when her daughter was in elementary school and given on her first day of college.

“Originally I wrote this as an act of desperation,” she writes, “in response to a series of dramas that visited our family: addiction, illness, depression, job loss, and death. It was a rearguard action, an attempt to sort out on paper how to cope with life’s more extreme circumstances.”

Bergen’s aim as a mother is to raise kind, civilized, thoughtful, aware children. The goal of her book is to prepare her child for life, not to protect her from it. That includesliving is constantly learning, never underestimating the value of good conversation and considering one’s words carefully.

I immediately felt a kindred spirit to Bergen, when she shares, on an excursion to a bookstore with her daughter, she chose Lydia Davis’ collection of short stories, BREAK IT DOWN to purchase. I write that because it’s obvious Davis is an influence on Bergen’s writing. It’s pithy, straightforward, easy to read, but complex. Her thoughts are well-organized and anyone who reads, NAVIGATING LIFE will learn something. I certainly did. One may occasionally think they’re being lectured to, but that wasn’t my take. Bergen is divorced and still learning to navigate the single landscape. Research for her next book?

Margaux Bergen

Born in Paris and raised in London, educated at Edinburgh University and living in Washington D.C., Margaux is the mother of three millennials. She has spent her career working in international development and women’s leadership and has held senior communications positions at the World Bank, the United Way and Vital Voices. She believes words matter. And is still learning the extreme sport of raising three children.


Thanks to BookSparks we have one copy of NAVIGATING LIFE to giveaway. Just tell us one thing you wish your mother had told you, when you were a child. We’ll announce a winner Monday. Have a lovely sacred week, whichever Holiday you celebrate.


18 thoughts on “NAVIGATING LIFE: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me by Margaux Bergen & GIVEAWAY

  1. I wish I had learned more about her family, especially her mother and father and their families. I also wish she could have taught me more about relationships. I think the reason she didn’t is because she was not good at them or felt she failed in some way and didn’t feel like she could advise me.My parents divorced after 25 years of marriage. I also wish she had told me no more often, rather than saying, if this is what you feel is best for you. I guess I needed more guidance, but my parents were very typical of the 1970’s parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello. I wish my beautiful mother had taught me her native language, Japanese.
    Humility with dignity, as well as all aspects of life that made her a wonderful woman. I miss you Mom. ❤️🌻❤️


  3. I wished I was taught to learn to relax and not worry so much but coming from a family of perfectionists and worrywarts, it was not in the cards. I was taught kindness and doing things for others. Scouting and volunteerism was big in our family. I wished we were taught to not focus so much on grades but more for the love of learning. Fear of failing was paramount in my life. Now as a grandmother, I am trying to learn to relax and teach my grandson love of life and reading.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t have very many heart-to-heart conversations with my mother – it wasn’t a thing she was used to or comfortable with, not a part of her life growing up. And she was taken too early before we could develop any kind of rapport. She also suffered from dementia before her death and tremendous memory loss. So I would like to read this story of mother/daughter relationship and conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I wish my mom had been a bit more open about her childhood. She didn’t reveal too much and my siblings and I have lots of questions and it’s too late now!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I wish my mother had shared more of her childhood with me. I don’t remember her telling me anything about my grandfather who died when she was only 10. I don’t know anything about his side of the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i wish my mom would have had the courage to stand up for the innocence I lost at a very young age. she did not speak up rather shove it down or act as if it didn’t happen then get angry with me
    but …….. BUT MY MAMA was once the very same little frightened abused lonely child I was…. do you understand she didn’t know how to stop it. my mom is my hero and I wish she would talk to me im not mad at her anymore I just wish she would talk to me…. and not act as if I don’t exist. this very difficult as it has a trickle down affect and now hurt my daughters and grandkids
    my heart is breaking but I have faith in a God that puts messes back together!!


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