Tag Archives: Parenthood

After Birth, Garnethill Trilogy

Elisa Albert’s After Birth blew me away. So much so that I just wrote the author an email to thank her for getting it right, and immediately after finishing my library copy I preordered the paperback so it can live in my permanent collection. Ari is coming on her son’s one year birthday, but her postpartum depression and inability to heal from her traumatic birth experience has her coming undone. When pregnant Mina, a former rock legend, moves to Ari’s small town up the Hudson,…

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Judy Blume! Kondo, Primates of Park Ave, Missoula, More True Crime and a Dumb Thriller I Read Anyway

I’ve been swimming in the cultural zeitgeist lately, thanks to my wonderful local library which just received much-needed funding to reopen on Saturdays. I was crazy excited to get my hands on Judy Blume’s newest book for adults, In the Unlikely Event, which is set in Elizabeth, NJ in the 1950s, against the backdrop of the actual triad of plane crashes that traumatized the community. Elizabeth is Blume’s hometown, and the book is based on her own emotional memories of living in the shadow of…

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Before I Wake by C.L. Taylor

Synopsis: When her daughter falls into a coma, a politician’s wife goes searching for the truth, even as a past abusive relationship and her own mental instability come back to haunt her. Review: Before I Wake was a wild enough ride. It had enough juicy backstory to keep me engaged even though the present-day mystery was a bit of a slog. Though Susan’s sordid previous relationship didn’t hit any fresh notes, it attacked all the expected ones with gusto. The mystery was a little implausible…

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Synopsis: Bernadette doesn’t fit in with the other private school moms, but when her life falls apart while planning a family trip to Antarctica, her daughter learns that her mom is basically a mad genius, and hopefully it’s not too late to save her from herself. Review: Where’d You Go Bernadette is the next book you want to read, especially if you’re looking to get your book club out of a rut or if you’re tapping your fingernails on the table waiting for the Gone…

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Harrowgate by Kate Maruyama

Synopsis: When Michael comes home to meet his infant son for the first time, his wife Sarah doesn’t seem like herself, refusing to leave the apartment and spending all her time with an older postpartum doula known only as Greta. Review: So creepy! Harrowgate had a lot going for it–claustrophobic atmosphere, eerie premise, and menacing secondary characters. It’s no spoiler to tell you that Sarah isn’t all there, but this is a ghost story with an agenda beyond delivering scares. As spooky as it is,…

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The Hive by Gill Hornby

Synopsis: A new school year at St. Ambrose means fundraising for the moms, and all the concomitant social climbing, gossiping, and backstabbing. Review: The Hive was an immensely fun read, though I didn’t agree with the author’s choice to leave some key moments off the page. Structuring the story around a series of fundraising events was a great idea, because it gave the in-fighting and social machinations some shape. I felt that all the characters were well distinguished from each other, though I didn’t think…

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Tiger Babies Strike Back by Kim Wong Keltner

Synopsis: Subtitled: “How I Was Raised by a Tiger Mom but Could Not Be Turned to the Dark Side.” Review: My interest in Tiger Babies Strike Back petered out in the first 30 pages. Kim Wong Keltner is a good writer but I just grew weary of the memoir aspect of the story. I know it’s not entirely fair to judge the book you wish you were reading, but honestly I really wished she had talked to more families in an effort to present a…

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The Business of Baby by Jennifer Margulis

Synopsis: Subtitled, “What Doctors Don’t Tell You, What Corporations Try to Sell You, and How to Put Your Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Before Their Bottom Line.” Review: I was basically nodding my head and saying yes yes yes while reading The Business of Baby, which covers pregnancy, birth, and the newborn period and lays out in damning detail how financial considerations are the reason why the US has such abysmal newborn and maternal mortality rates. Because of my work in lactation and had two home…

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Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon

Synopsis: Subtitled: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. Review: I had been keen to read Far From the Tree when it started getting buzz pre-publication. But I was horrified (HORRIFIED I TELL YOU) that the Kindle price was set at $16.99. I do not pay that, not for anyone (okay, I paid it for just one person). Finally, the price dropped to $9.99 and I hit the purchase button with alacrity and style. And of course the price has dropped further so I wish…

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Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska

Synopsis: The father of a third grader in a prestigious NYC private school finds himself pressured to do whatever it takes to keep his son from falling behind–but at what cost? Review: When I picked up Accelerated I thought it was going to be a horror novel and I was really, really disappointed to find it was a straight-up story about the dangers of medicating children for ADHD. I found it really preachy and not that exciting, plot-wise. It just felt very dated. I did…

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