Lynn Kaplanian-Buller, co-owner of The American Book Center, Netherlands

Holly Ruhl, PhD, early childhood psychologist, editor at Mother.ly .

Dame Gillian Wagner, PhD, author, former Chair of Barnardo’s

by Nancy Honey, digital pigment print on Hahnemuehle paper

“I thought it was just my character until I read your book and saw the effect of being an eldest daughter as a pattern. Now I can laugh about my aloofness with family, friends and staff – which makes it easier to let things be. More people must feel some recognition – the book kept selling out of the display window, as if it were rare or forbidden.”

“I absolutely fell in love with the book. It’s like I was reading something written especially for me about my life! Like looking at a reflection in the mirror—shrewdly discerning and comically accurate. This book uncovers the mysteries of why we eldest daughters are who we are. Valuable for those seeking insight into the eldest daughters in their lives. Even better for eldest daughters trying to understand their own profound sense of responsibility, expeditiousness, and perfectionism.”

“I found the dispassionate yet intimate way in which the authors present this thought provoking and penetrating analysis of the lives of firstborn women very engaging. This fascinating read made me think about my own eldest daughter characteristics. Talking of it with my daughter, my daughter in law, my granddaughter, my granddaughter in law and even my grandson, all felt suddenly united in a new understanding of their place in the family. This book will surely cause eldest daughters to re-evaluate who and how they became what they are.”

Lucy McCarraher, author of 10 books; Managing Editor, Rethink Press.

Lucy McCarraher

Caroline van Scheltinga, Chairman and CEO of WIHL – investment banker

Van Scheltinga, Caroline

Emilia Queiroga Barros, Notable Specialist at UNESCO

Emilia Queiroga Barros

“I am an author, writing coach and publisher, and an eldest daughter; my business partner is the youngest brother of three sisters. After reading The Eldest Daughter Effect I understood exactly how our relationship worked, its positives and negatives. I was amazed to find what a typical eldest daughter I am, and that so much of my attitudes and behaviour are coloured by this factor. The book has led me to have endless, fascinating conversations with others I can now easily identify as eldest daughters – and I will be recommending it to all of them. If you are an eldest daughter, you MUST read this book!”

“The authors have captured the concept of being an eldest daughter brilliantly, along with the expectations that come with it, which each of us eldest daughters has internalized. They provide a framework to understand the feelings and realizations of being ‘the eldest’ and how to be accepting of the position without resenting it. Now with an eldest daughter of my own, I can see over and over again the patterns so beautifully described by Enthoven and Schuitemaker. I recommend the book to any parent of an eldest daughter, any eldest daughter and anyone married to an eldest daughter.”

“A wonderful trip into my own experience of life as an eldest daughter, this book surprised me from the first paragraph all the way to the exercises at the end. I had never realized how similar oldest children all over the world are, just because of the way they experience their unique position in the family. As an educator, I hope this book will be translated in many languages, so parents and eldest daughters gain more insight into this powerful aspect of human development. As an eldest daughter, I recognized how I face life situations and relationships throughout the book. It made me wonder how I can let go of some of the boundaries I have placed on myself, and make the most of the wonderful gifts this birth position brings.”

Veronika Uhl, Ayurvedic and Yoga Therapist at Vonka Yoga and Ayurveda


Tatiana Glad, social entrepreneur, Impact Hub & Waterlution

TDG headshot (1) kopie

Gill Emslie, PhD, co-founder and director of the Findhorn Consultancy Service


“As an Austrian living in the Netherlands and working for a large part in India and Nepal, I can testify that this book beautifully illustrates the universal and unique aspects of being the eldest daughter. I love the way the authors share their personal stories as illustrations of the broader context. Very recognizable and encouraging!”

“With The Eldest Daughter Effect, the authors not only created a powerful sense of belonging for a significant group of women, but have also unleashed a sense of community that can self-reflect on its own capacities. This book comes at a time when we can only welcome eldest daughters who have – and can – play a role in reclaiming a positive sense of identity as part of the broader social movement towards a better world.”

“Suddenly everything made sense! Striving to be good enough, the sense of responsibility… the pressure and opportunity. Even as a long time student and teacher of process oriented psychology, reading The Eldest Daughter Effect has been a revelation and a relief to me. I am not alone.”

Marilyn Hamilton, PhD CPA/CGA CSP; Founder & AQtivator, Integral City Meshworks


Jim Garrison, PhD, author, Founder and President, Ubiquity University


Debbie Jenkins, Dedicated Control Freak, Writer & Author


“The Eldest Daughter Effect is a page turner. I couldn’ t put it down and raced through it in one go!! Now I want to share the book with all my good friends – who of course are eldest daughters themselves – my walking buddy, my step daughter and many professional colleagues. The five qualities of Eldest Daughters (responsible, dedicated, expeditious, thoughtful, caring) even emerged as key descriptors of me in the systemic constellation inquiries I have done with my community of practice – so I affirm these research discoveries. I am indebted to Lisette and Wies for their insights, so beautifully captured in lively vignettes and flowing prose that offer a truly rewarding read. Brava!!!!”

“This book is impressive both because it is grounded in numerous scientific studies on family constellations and behavior and because it offers a portal through which each of us  —  no matter where we are in our family systems — can better understand the influence of our birth order on who we become. Reading it makes one realize more deeply that we are communal beings, not islands unto ourselves, and that however distant we might be from them as we grow up, our siblings and our parents always remain part of our essential identity.”

“Finally, someone who understands me, probably better than I understand myself. Lisette and Wies have skillfully described my life, my fears and frustrations, explained my exhausting compulsion to take care of everything and everyone; and more importantly given me faith that I’m not alone and not going crazy! I admit to crying at parts of the book: when I realised that I was destined to be the one to read the eulogy at our father’s funeral, that I’d always clean the dirty dishes, that I would always be self-critical me, and that I’m ok just as I am. A hugely comforting read, with tonnes of helpful advice and great tools. I loved this book, really, truly loved it.”