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Treacher, A. (1989). Changes of Heart: Reflections on Women's Independence, by Liz Heron, Pandora Press, 1986, 241 pages, £4.95. Free Associations, 1Q(16):135-147.

(1989). Free Associations, 1Q(16):135-147

Changes of Heart: Reflections on Women's Independence, by Liz Heron, Pandora Press, 1986, 241 pages, £4.95

Review by:
Amal Treacher, Ph.D.

Liz Heron wishes to explore what it is to be a woman in the 1980's: what sense we make of — and what meanings we give to — our lives. Central to this book is a discussion of the ambivalence and difficulties of being an independent woman: a woman who has direction, knowledge of herself, power and control; and for Heron

the most salient themes are those of conflict and ambivalence; of reconciling emotional needs for an intimate, loving relationship with the desire for separateness and self-reliance; and of unravelling the knots created when the claims of others become entangled with the demands of the self. (p. 4)

Interlinked with the above themes, Heron discusses how women live within these new meanings, these new ideas of the independent woman with a strong identity, and further how women ‘survive the difficulties of living up to them, when soaring aspirations are often pulled back by circumstances or by the obstinancy of the past’ (p. 3). For Heron independence means ‘the ways and means of transforming some of the stubborn realities of everyday life, and of creating new possibilities for ourselves’ (p. 6).

Heron's approach was ‘personal and obliquely grounded in [her] personal history, because [she had] taken [her] own history as a starting point for reflections on some of the difficulties that continue to harry and vex women in their efforts to change’ (p.

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