An invitation to remember |

An invitation to remember

Jennifer Gersbach
Special to the DailyEugenia Zukerman spent an afternoon reminiscing with her daughters, and was inspired to compile a book of tales.

Eugenia Zukerman, artistic director for Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, isn’t just a musician. She’s a mother.

“In My Mother’s Closet” is a compilation of cherished memories. Zukerman captures the essence of motherhood and womanhood in its truest form. Filled with narrative memories told by a diverse group of strong-willed women, this book invites the reader to enter the world of a mother’s closet and re-open the magic, the intrigue and the beauty of a woman’s transformation from childhood to adulthood.

Zukerman wants her readers to know “In My Mother’s Closet” is not just a sweet and corny book, but that it is deep and filled with a lot of grit – grit that every woman, young and old, can relate to.

Following an afternoon spent with her daughters, reminiscing about old jewelry boxes, scarfs, shoes and secrets – kept behind her own closet doors – Zukerman began to believe in the power of those memories. Suddenly, she wanted to dig deeper. She wanted to know if all women had similar experiences lingering behind those portals of wonder. Intrigued by this question, she set out to unravel the mystery.

On her quest she formed an elevated connection and intimacy with her daughters. Zukerman listened as they talked about how they had tried on her dresses and how her closet had served as the gateway into their mother’s soul. She also discovered that the mother-daughter relationship is unlike any other.

The book captures how young girls feel within their mother’s secret haven. It cradles the unique feeling that comes when she recognizes for the first time the essence of the woman she might someday become.

In reference to sleuthing through her own mother’s closet, Zukerman explained:

“It was both a way of identifying with her, and separating from her, a way of finding out who I was and what I might become.”

“The book is special in that it is quite revealing,” she continued. “The stories told are true and real and heartfelt; they are sad and happy and intense. The book allows the reader to understand the nature of their own feelings – memories flow fast and furious and are accompanied by laughter and tears.”

Similarly, emotions from the past come forth and resolutions are made. “In the interviews there were no negative narratives at the end,” she said. “Those women who had negative feelings toward their mothers in the beginning were all looking for ways to resolve the past. The interviews allowed enlightenment and a way to let go of baggage.”

Reading “In My Mother’s Closet,” I was at first unable to recall my own personal memories, but as the pages began to flip faster, the floodgates opened. I soon remembered my mom, remembered my childhood, the heartaches, the desires, the disappointments, the joy, the hatred, and finally, the love. And whether or not we wish to admit it, as women we become like our mother’s – regardless of what her closet contained.

Zukerman admits that it turned out to be something much more than she had thought, the book created a nostalgic fire, and that she not only grew closer to her own family in writing it she grew as a woman as well.

“In My Mother’s Closet” puts your heart on the line and forces you to dig deep to the root of your own childhood memories. It is quick and delightful and it made me eager to talk to my mom about her childhood and what she found hiding within her mother’s closet.

Zukerman can be found around Vail for the duration of the Bravo! music festival. She often introduces the concerts. The Vail Symposium is hosting a breakfast with her July 30 at The Savory Inn in Vail from 9-11 a.m. She will talk about her book and give others time to share their recollections as children, parents of grandparents. For more information on the book visit To sign up for the breakfast call the Vail Symposium at 476-0954.

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