Posts Tagged ‘ fiction ’

Jennifer Gilmore’s New Novel ‘The Mothers’ is Inspired by Her Difficult Adoption Journey

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Jennifer Gilmore‘s The Mothers has become a praised and hot new novel. It’s about one couple’s struggle with infertility and then the rigors of adoption. Jennifer wrote her book after going through a similar hardships herself. Luckily, her personal story has a happy ending. Here’s more directly from Jennifer about her life and her book:

“Since we met in our late twenties, my husband and I have wanted to make a family. I’d been sick, though, and was told by my doctors I’d never be able to have children.Despite this ominous declaration, I went on to become pregnant, which ended in a miscarriage. After several rounds of unsuccessful IVF procedures, we decided to pursue domestic adoption.

We were utterly unprepared for the adoption process, despite extensive research. And the deeper we got into the world of paperwork and agencies and lawyers and the choices we had to make, the more issues of race and class, and also what motherhood means, ignited the novelist in me. I wanted to investigate not only the difficult and shocking process, but also the deep and complex wanting to be a parent and the stress not being able to make that happen puts on a relationship.  I hope my new novel, The Mothers, does this.

After a long and winding and often terrifying adoption path, my husband and I have been fortunate enough to have a newborn at home with us, for good. We are adjusting—with pleasure—to the daily rhythms and changes of a growing infant. There were times we thought this would never happen, and so becoming a family of three feels delicious, something to savor.

And yet, like my friends and family who came to motherhood easily, I have some of the similar concerns. There are the financial pressures—our savings and then some went into trying to have a child—and there are the pressures of space that come when living in a New York City apartment, with or without a child. While often there is little predicting when a child enters any of our lives, adoption can be quick and unexpected, as ours was. And so we are living the same frenetic life we were before his arrival .

As a writer, I work at home. Right now, the baby is asleep in his swinging chair, but he could—and will—wake up at any moment, wanting to be held, fed, changed. I do all these things with pleasure, but as a writer works for herself, there is no maternity leave. Now, I meet my deadlines in quick spurts. And I would be disingenuous if I did not admit to being worried about the future. Beginning a novel takes huge swaths of empty time and silence and solitude. And as a novelist, I have to believe I will be working on a new book very soon.

I am not the first writer to become a mother. Women managing work and parenting has been tackled and discussed and hashed over privately and in the media for decades. For writers though, especially women, it is especially difficult to carve out time for work when there is a child right here, whom I have yearned for, waiting for me to pick him up, bring him to me, hold on to him forever.”

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2 Hot Books Reviewed: ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch and ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I owe you a story about Audible. I can’t recommend audio books highly enough. I listen to the most amazing new releases while I run to Costco, the bank, the dry cleaner and while doing dishes and laundry. At the expense of my poor, ignored husband, I can easily blow through a few books a week. Which I just did, so I’m writing these reviews.

Here are my quick, no-nonsense reasons why you should read The Dinner by Herman Koch and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

The Dinner
Who would like it: Anyone who likes dark, twisted, psychological messiness would be fascinated by Herman Koch’s messed up, train wreck of a brilliant book.
What it’s about: On a nice summer evening in Amsterdam, Paul Lohman and his wife meet Paul’s brother Serge and his clearly upset spouse for dinner. The story unfolds over the many courses of the evening weaving back story and front story together as the wine glasses and dishes arrive at their table. Paul’s description of the food is manic–he really has a beef with olives–which sets the tone for what’s to come. The point of the book–the big reveal–doesn’t come until halfway through, but the journey is a lively and accurate–if disturbing–depiction of cultural norms and society. What you need to know is that each brother has a 15-year-old boy–and they share one big secret. Grotesqueness unfolds. I loved how I cringed and how I got disgusted and how I compared my wonderful family to his totally screwed up one.
Why you should read it: This is a book for people who don’t need a happy ending and but need a lot of food for thought.

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Who would like it: Readers who dig offbeat love stories and don’t mind a good weep.
What it’s about: Lou Clark is a working class, sensible girl who is content living at home taking care of her parents, sister and grandfather. She has a lackluster boyfriend and future ahead of her. When she loses her job at a cafe, she takes a position caring for the insufferable quadriplegic Will Traynor. All of a sudden, her life gets deep. Will doesn’t want to live, and she realizes that his mother hired her to get him to change his mind.
Why you should read it: Lou is so relatable, and you’ll enjoy seeing how her character transforms and unfolds. I just can’t give away any more than that. This book delivers on the issues of class struggles, tragedy, heartbreak and love. I dare you to get through this book without a tissue.

Just this week, I listened to The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp and With or Without You by Domenica Ruta as well. Again, be on the lookout for more blog posts about those ASAP.

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