That Kind of Motherby Published 08 May 2018
|That Kind of Mother.pdf|
From the celebrated author of Rich and Pretty, a novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keep
Like many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed. Struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood with her own aspirations and feeling utterly alone in the process, she reaches out to the only person at the hospital who offers her any real help—Priscilla Johnson—and begs her to come home with them as her son’s nanny.
Priscilla’s presence quickly does as much to shake up Rebecca’s perception of the world as it does to stabilize her life. Rebecca is white, and Priscilla is black, and through their relationship, Rebecca finds herself confronting, for the first time, the blind spots of her own privilege. She feels profoundly connected to the woman who essentially taught her what it means to be a mother. When Priscilla dies unexpectedly in childbirth, Rebecca steps forward to adopt the baby. But she is unprepared for what it means to be a white mother with a black son. As she soon learns, navigating motherhood for her is a matter of learning how to raise two children whom she loves with equal ferocity, but whom the world is determined to treat differently.
Written with the warmth and psychological acuity that defined his debut, Rumaan Alam has crafted a remarkable novel about the lives we choose, and the lives that are chosen for us.
That Kind of Mother Reviews
I would give this six stars if I could. Excellent writing, excellent story.
The description of this book was more interesting to me than the actual book. I didn't find Rebecca interesting or likable and I felt the the author danced around the issues of race that were raised in the story. All in all I just was left wanting there to be more to the story.
Setting this aside . May come back to it at another time . Just not connecting .
This book was simultaneously beautifully written and intensely boring. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing really did. Even the big things that happened felt so small. I think the book was just too subtle for my liking. I think I would have enjoyed it more as a short story.
I read THAT KIND OF MOTHER because I was intrigued primarily by the situation the book would examine: an interracial family made by adoption, a relationship between two women across lines of race and class, and the differences between two brothers in society who are equally beloved by their mother. I was curious about the potential for drama here, and I did not expect to find myself so immersed in the mind of just one character in this web of complicated relationships. THAT KIND OF MOTHER offers exactly this: a close look at one white woman's inner life, her desires, ambitions, experience as a mother, and, most significantly, her uncertainties and blindspots. What Alam is able to render and question here about white womanhood, art making and class, intimacy and connection across gradients of difference and power, as well as our deep tendency as a culture to optimistically narrativize American progress, is profound. I read the book in under a week, engrossed by Rebecca's efforts, missteps, misinterpretations, and the way the characters around her (chiefly Cheryl) resist her version of things. This book also left me wondering about all the silences and uncertainties in the family that were not uncovered--these mysteries are yet another strength of this rich, sticky, and compelling novel.