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NDG Book Review: Books on Mothers and Motherhood

By Terri Schlichenmeyer

Everybody’s had one at least once in their lives.

Some people get two or more, while others don’t currently have any. Whatever your situation, this is a good time to read about mothers and being somebody’s Mom, so why not try one of these great books…

These days, science has a lot to do with being a mother and “I Cannot Control Everything Forever” by Emily C. Bloom (St. Martin’s Press, $29.00) takes things a bit farther. When Bloom wanted to become pregnant, she had to rely on science and when her daughter was born with congenital deafness and was later diagnosed with other maladies, she relied on science again. This is a beautiful book, perfect for mothers who’ve been “there.”


(Photo by Terri Schlichenmeyer)

Sometimes, just trying to be someone’s Mom isn’t easy. In “Inconceivable” by Valerie Bauman (Union Square, $27.99), you’ll read about the author’s encounters with the sperm donor market, the costs both physically and economically, and what the experts say about this unregulated industry.

On the flip side, anyone who’s taking a different, alternative route to motherhood may like “Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and the Privilege of American Motherhood” by Gretchen Sisson (St. Martin’s Press, $29.00). It’s a look at the women who give birth but must let go of their children, and what it’s like from that side of the adoption.

To understand motherhood in America today, read “Broken: Transforming Child Protective Services” by Jessica Pryce (Amistad, $28.99). This book is an investigation into what the author says is a biased system that “disproportionately” targets mothers of color in America and that wreaks havoc on Black families, including separation. It’s an eye-opening tale that will chill the blood of any parent, anywhere.

On a totally lighter note, if you grew up reading about Evil Step-Mothers in fairy tales, then you should look for “The Book of Mothers” by Carrie Mullins (St. Martin’s Press, $29.00), This interesting book takes a look at fifteen classic novels featuring maternal figures you’ll recognize. From Austin to Alcott, Woolf to Walker and eleven other authors in between, this is a fun book but also a serious peek at what literature has had to say about mothers and how it’s shaped American motherhood.

And finally, if you’ve had one of those weeks and you need to laugh, look for “Momma Cusses” by TikTok’er Gwenna Laithland (St. Martin’s Essentials, $20.00). It’s a funny, sardonic, but dead-on look at being a mother, from a point of view of someone who has kids and knows how to raise them – sometimes, with patience. Bonus: some of the advice is serious stuff that you’ll ultimately be glad you’ve read.

And if this isn’t enough for you or the Mom or Mother-to-Be you know, then ask your favorite bookseller or librarian. They know what you’ll need, whether it’s advice for getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or exploring pregnancy; words of wisdom for the Mom of a newborn or a new adult; or just good reads for relaxing because you deserve it. Every mother does.

NDG Weekly Picks
North Dallas Gazette


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