In Maria Hummel’s debut poetry collection, House and Fire, we inhabit a mother’s world as she cares for a chronically ill child, a timeless space where past, present, and future blur together beneath longing for health.
In many ways, language itself is at the heart of this novel. In literature, as in life, mothers get blamed for just about everything. They are held responsible for being overly attentive, or not attentive enough; for providing bad examples, …
Laurie Kruk is too good a writer for her work to be read and evaluated merely as “women’s poetry,” “mother poetry,” “feminist poetry,” or whatever ghettoizing label might be deployed to foreground thematics and downplay poetics. Nearly every poem in her 2012 collection My Mother Did Not Tell Stories contains at least one turn of phrase truly stunning in its simple perfection; in particular, Kruk specializes in final lines with an unexpected grace and ineffable power.
The Good Mother Myth (edited by Avital Norman Nathman, with a foreword by Christy Turlington Burns) landed in my inbox in early November, when the eerie tentacles of Halloween were still creeping into my mood. The glut of scary movies on which my husband and I had gorged clung to my psyche, and so you will, I hope, excuse me if they colored my reading of this otherwise not terribly dark collection of essays about motherhood.
Becoming a mother changed and charged my faith life. I went from worshiping at church and lingering over spiritual memoirs at home—especially books by Anne Lamott and Kathleen Norris—to missing sermons for time in the nursery and streaming Bible webcasts in the kitchen. Gospel on the go.
Theresa Shea’s The Unfinished Child is a novel about women, friendship, and family, but the author has a lot more on her mind. Despite its quiet Edmonton setting, and its close-up scenes—in doctors’ offices, at kitchen tables and cafés—it’s also an ambitious book, exploring the intersections of pregnancy, technology, abortion, disability, and family.