Saturday, March 31, 2007

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

So I have no idea when I actually started this book. I suspect it was in January. I remember it was so soon after Baby Bear went home that I found reading about a women whose two month old died way too painful. So I put it down and dusted it off today.

V. good read. I liked Good In Bed and In Her Shoes (and I also like the movie adaptations of In Her Shoes BTW) so I am not surprised that I enjoyed this one. It's about three new moms who meet in a prenatal yoga class and how they develop into mothers. The pivotal character, Lia is the mom who lost her baby - she is an actress in Hollywood and actually ends up leaving her actor husband and fleeing the city to someplace near her home. So it's interesting that all of the "here's what motherhood means to me" revolve around an axis of loss of a child.

I like this book because it presents different "models" for motherhood - career obsessed and fitting a baby in, hippy mom who wants to do everything naturally and stay at home, obsessed, perfectionist mom who tracks, records and analyzes everything. There are also interesting discussions of each woman's relationship to her own mother. The workaholic grew up poor with an alcoholic mom, and works hard to make sure that never happens again. The perfectionist mom grew up with an activist mother who felt that wealth and privelage would guarantee her kids turned out all right. I can't really recall what hippy mom's mom was like but her MIL is a holy terror that makes their lives miserable. In the end the way hippy mom comes to terms with that relationship is by imagining her MIL as a neglected infant, craving attention, whose cries no one answered.

My only complaint: the way we're hit over the head with the themes rather than letting them unfold naturally. I also react to the literary device of telling the story with four voices, and delineating those voices with the name of each character at the beginning of her chapter. If your voices are good enough, we'll figure out who's talking, OK?

No comments: