Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Essential Reading: Mother’s Day

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"If a community values its children, it must cherish its mothers."
-John Bowlby

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Fiction Editor Kristina Riggle says, "Base Ten by Maryann Lesert explores motherhood in all its complications by way of an astrophysicist and potential astronaut who slips away from the science she craves and the stratospheric career she could have, when parenthood surprises her early. Years into the marriage in which she feels she gives much more than she takes, Jillian runs away for ten days alone in the wilderness to find out how to salvage herself without abandoning her family, and indeed, if that's even possible. Lesert steers clear of pat solutions or sentimentality in this thought-provoking, honest novel."

Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief and Columnist writes, "I am captivated by The Irresistible Henry House, by Lisa Grunwald. It's a novel based on the fact that in the mid-20th century, babies given up for adoption were sometimes used as temporary "practice babies" by women in college Home Economics programs. The main character, Henry House, has seven student moms until he is two, and then things get fabulously complicated as both his birth mother and the director of the practice house, Martha Grimes, lay claim to mothering Henry. The book is well-researched and full of terrific period detail, and of course raises plenty of interesting questions about mothering. It's keeping me up way past my bedtime!"

Jessica Riley, E-zine Co-editor says, "I recently read For One More Day by Mitch Albom. The story is about Chick, a down-on-his-luck man who experiences an impossible occurrence: the chance to spend one more day with his mother who had passed away several years prior. As Chick comes to terms with his guilt over the lack of gratitude he showed his mother for the sacrifices she made for him, so Albom pays tribute to mothers everywhere -- their unwavering love, their selfless dedication, and the bittersweet happiness they experience in watching their children grow up. Naturally, Albom dedicated the book to his own mother."

Literary Reflections Editorial Assistant Katie de Iongh says, "I just finished The Myth of the Perfect Mother by Jane Swigart. With sensitivity, the raw emotions and choices mothers face in nuturing and rearing their children in today's stressful world are brought to the foreground. Drawing from varying methods of research--ethnographies, interviews with parents and health-care professionals, as well as Swigarts' background as a therapsit and mother, she presents a new model of motherhood where mothers can parent without guilt. The Myth of the Perfect Mother had me nodding my head in agreement on one page, tearing up on another; all the while learning about myself and motherhood as a whole."

Katie de Iongh lives in Rye, New Hampshire with her husband and their three young children. She is a community volunteer, freelance writer and college English instructor.

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