Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
December, 2007

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Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co-Editor, writes: "I'm currently reading Sparkle Life by Kara Lindstrom, a smart, sexy book about three thirty-something women who are looking for love and making movies. I love movies, and it's always fun to read about the biz, especially when the writing is so clear and, uh, sparkly."

Caroline Grant, Senior Editor and Columnist, reports: "I've just finished the spectacularly rich and detailed historical novel Brookland, by Emily Barton. The story about a trio of sisters who run a gin distillery and build a bridge spanning the East River is told via a series of letters from the oldest sister, Prue, to her grown daughter, Recompense, as Recompense awaits the birth of her first child. Along the way, Barton offers an intimate look into 18th century family life, the political workings of New York State, and enough fascinating information about gin distilling that I'm tempted to try it myself."

C. Delia Scarpitti, Columns Department Co-Editor, says: "I am reading the newly released paperback edition of the popular award-winning novel, The Birth House, by Ami McKay. (Read the previous Literary Mama Review.) This lyrical novel reveals the struggles between the medical and midwifery models of childbirth, "progress" and "traditional wisdom" and the rights for women to control their own bodies versus societal standards and expectations. Dora Rare, a midwife apprentice in a remote village in Nova Scotia during the early 20th century, is an unforgettable protagonist, and McKay's use of poetic language is completely riveting, as in the following: 'When husbands, fathers and sons were kept out in the fog longer than was safe, the women stood at their windows, holding their lamps, a chorus of lady moons beckoning their lovers back to shore. Waiting, they hushed their children to sleep and listened for the voice of the moon in the crashing waves. In the secret of the night, mothers whispered to their daughters that only the moon could force the waters to submit. It was the moon's voice that called the men home, her voice that turned the tides of womanhood, her voice that pulled their babies into the light of birth.' This is one novel I know will stay with me long after I've read the last page."

Sarah Raleigh Kilts is a proud member of the amazing Motherlode Writers Group (I love you guys!). Her writing has been published in Common Ties. Following her passions led her to discover a new career that’s tons of fun — as an elementary school music teacher to 220 fabulous 3rd 4th and 5th graders she gets to share her love of music and world culture with a captive — though often wiggly and giggly — audience. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area and can sometimes be found (even on school nights!) performing in local watering holes plucking the bass and singing with her hubby Thom in their Indie Rock duo, Diablo’s Dust. Three of their albums are currently available on iTunes.

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