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These two eldest daughters struck up a friendship over thirty years ago. With Lisette quite tall and Wies quite small, with Wies being a mother of two daughters and Lisette a mere aunt, they look very different and lead different lives. Yet, since they began to look at their similarities through the eldest daughter lens, the Dutch authors have become aware of deep underlying patterns that they share with millions of other eldest daughters in the world.

As authors, they have not left themselves out of the equation as each chapter starts with one of them reminiscing about an occasion that made a great impression and shaped them into who they are today.

There is no doubt in the authors’ minds that the more eldest daughters deepen their insight into the patterns of the eldest-daughter paradigm, the freer they will start to feel. They will no longer need to be scared, as Lisette has been ever since she can remember, that you’ll be a disappointment as people invariably expect too much and once they get to know you, they don’t really know how to get rid of you. Nor do you need to be anxious like Wies, who tended to think that all she had accomplished up to now doesn’t really account for much, that she needed to push herself harder to make sure people see who she is.

Lisette Schuitemaker has long observed similarities between herself and other eldest daughters. After studying the classics, she went into communications working first for a large bank, then setting up and running her own agency. After selling this business, she obtained a BSc in Brennan Healing Science and ran a private practice as a life-coach. She has sat on the board of several Dutch and European charities and currently serves as chair of the Center for Human Emergence in the Netherlands and the Findhorn Foundation in Scotland. She combines her psychological insights with her writing experience. This is her third book. Her book Alight is about alighting the train of negative thoughts and feelings about yourself and knowing you are a light already.

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Wies Enthoven is a writer, journalist and teacher. She studied psycholinguistics and already started to teach and write when still in college. After a decade of writing for Dutch newspapers and magazines she became seriously ill. When she had sufficiently recovered, she wrote a book in her native Dutch Bange Helden about her nine years of being determined to find a way to get better. She regained her position as a journalist and recently started a new company in Amsterdam, Harttaal or Hearttalk in English to house her work as a writing coach and teacher. Her focus is always on the narrative people tell her. How do they look at themselves? What is their life story? Being an eldest daughter she discovered how much women in this birth position have in common.

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