In these unsure and tough times it’s nice to have a book that will make us laugh. J. Courtney Sullivan provides the laughs this summer in her novel Friends and Strangers. Elizabeth moves from the city to the country with a new baby and struggles trying to adjust to this whole new life. She hires a senior in college, Sam, to babysit. When Sam meets Elizabeth’s father-in-law she finds a kindred spirit and betrayal ensues. Sullivan wittingly shows us the power of dynamics, privilege and motherhood in this novel.
For another book about navigating motherhood try That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam. Rebecca is a white mother with a black friend, Priscilla, who unexpectedly dies. Rebecca steps in the adopt Priscilla’s son loving him as fiercely as her own son. She comes to the realization that the world treats her black son differently and beings to be confronted by the realities of white privilege. That Kind of Mother explores the desire for one’s own aspirations and dream while juggling the demands of being a new mother in a world society values your race. For another read about motherhood try, The Mothers by Britt Bennett. This Bennett’s debut novel about a young mother who has to live with the choices that she has made as a teenager but is finding herself overwhelmed by the power of what if. This novel will ask whether the power of what if is stronger than the experiences one holds as well as looking at the communities that raises us.
Being a mother is hard. The desire to protect and care for your child is intense. Aimee Molloy brings that fear for our child to a new level in The Perfect Mother. This is a psychological thriller about a group of women who all recently had babies and meet regularly in the park, however, one newborn goes missing from his crib and his mother’s secretive life becomes publicized over the media. These mothers will need to band together and risk everything to help her find her son. The Perfect Mother will be hard to put down.
If the power of women coming together to stand up for what they care about the novel The Osterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs would be an excellent read for you. Caroline moves into Osterville and finds kinship with a group of women in a sewing shop. Caroline needs help fighting to escape from domestic violence and the consequences of that relationship.
For more great recommendations check out KDL’s recommendation page.