That Kind of Mother: A Novel

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Rebecca Stone reels from the birth of her son, Jacob, and feels saved by a nurse named Priscilla who teaches her how to breastfeed. Desperate to keep that security, Rebecca invites Priscilla to be Jacob’s nanny, and the women forge a relationship that Rebecca is certain goes deeper than employer/employee. When Priscilla dies giving birth to her own baby, Andrew, Rebecca decides to adopt the child, wildly optimistic that her own love will transcend the fact that the baby is black and she is white. As the years hurry forward, Rebecca struggles to succeed as a mother and as a poet. Her sons grow up; her marriage founders; her poems tell her story. Even as she’s professionally lauded, however, Rebecca must queasily wonder how honest and fair she’s been to those she claims to love most.

A lyrical and at times bracing meditation on motherhood, middle age, and race, That Kind of Mother portrays Rebecca as maddeningly naive even in her moments of stark self-criticism. Prickly ideas are broached but not dwelled on, allowing the galloping of Rebecca’s life to take center stage. Life is difficult; one chooses to submit or persevere. Readers may take issue with Rebecca’s sunny outlook, but most will admire the way she carries on.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Rumaan Alam
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2018-May-08
ISBN 9780062667601
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Popular Fiction
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