Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
October, 2010

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Literary Mamas share what they are reading this autumn. Take your pick!

Download the list to bring to your local bookstore or library.

Blog Co-Editor, Karna Converse, recommends Missing Lucile: Memories of the Grandmother I Never Knew by Suzanne Berne. "Suzanne Berne recalls growing up with a father whose inconsolable sadness seemed to threaten his survival. She longed to give him what he missed: his mother, Lucile Kroger Berne, who died when he was only six years old and whose death, he told her, was never discussed. Though little is known about this heiress of the Kroger grocery empire, Suzanne pieces together a picture of who Lucile might have been from a box of keepsakes, a few journal pages and a packet of photographic negatives. Berne's writing is captivating and an interesting study in how to write biography when there are few facts to work with."

Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co- Editor, writes, "I'm currently reading Shamrock and Lotus by Literary Mama Columnist Cassie Premo Steele. Steele has created an intriguing multicultural cast of characters including Padmaj, who runs a restaurant in Dublin; Brigid, an Irishwoman who has been living in New Mexico and serving as a midwife on a Native American reservation; and Claire, an expat American wife contending with her teenaged daughter's eating disorder in the land of the great potato famine. As an expatriate myself, I feel an infinity with these displaced souls, but I'm also enjoying Steele's sensuous prose and insights into Irish culture."

Literary Reflections Co-Editor, Christina Marie Speed, says, "I am savoring the last chapter of Hope Edelman's The Possibility of Everything. When her three-year-old conjures an invisible friend who interrupts more than just part of her daughter's day, Edelman and her husband seek the aid of a shaman in Belize. The memoir focuses on just a few months back in late 2000. Edelman shares insights about her relationship with her husband, her vulnerability as a mother dealing with an occasionally vicious invisible friend, and her own lessons learned from the journey of healing. Her voice is fresh, real, and often inflected with humor. I find her desire to confront her faults as a mother and wife combined with her deep intention to emotionally connect with her daughter and husband compelling. A must-read!" For more about Hope Edelman, read our profile here.

Kristina Riggle, Fiction Co-Editor, shares, "I just finished Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord. It's a charming fable told as such by an omnisicent narrator, about Hector, a psychiatrist who travels the world trying to unlock the secrets of happiness. This book was a hit first in the author's native France and also in Germany, and I can certainly see why. Its wry humor and gentle satire of the First World's mental state is amusing, and Hector's insights into happiness are subtly profound. It was enjoyable and thought-provoking, and I'm positive I'll read it again. It's just been released here in the States."

Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief and Columnist writes, "I'm totally engrossed by Emma Donoghue's new novel, Room: A Novel. Five year-old Jack narrates the story, and his voice is utterly distinctive and charming as he describes his life; the objects in his world -- Bed, Wardrobe, Skylight -- are all characters in his story, and it would all be quite sweet except we realize quickly that Jack is being held captive in Room with his mother by a man he knows only as Old Nick. I'm racing through to find out what happens next in this original and disturbing book."

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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