Ciara's Reviews > From Here to Maternity: The Education of a Rookie Mom

From Here to Maternity by Beth Teitell
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's review
Feb 04, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: alleged-humor, autobio-memoir, baby-pregnancy-infertility-parentin, read-in-2012
Read in February, 2012

i guess it's obvious that i kind of loaded up in one particular area the last time i went to the library. all i've been wanting to read lately are mom memoirs.

this was another humorous take on new motherhood that actually hit its marks without coming across as either labored or saccharine. well done! if only teitell could have brought so much creativity to the title. there are at least six mother books out there called from here to maternity, & it's also the name of a series of baby-themed romance novels--you know, the ones where a woman gets pregnant accidentally & is staring down the barrel of single motherhood until the untamed cad who knocked her up is overcome by her fertile charms & they make a little family. because, you know, that happens. no better way to cement a foundering new romance than to add a baby to the mix.

teitell lives in boston (brookline, specifically), & i was stoked about the possibility of some boston flavor in the book. unfortunately, teitell does a fantastic job of casting boston as just another generically posh urban backdrop filled with well-appointed hospitals (her husband is a pediatri ER doctor at one of them) & maclaren strollers. i mean, i guess that does kind of sum up brookline, which is a pretty dull part of town unless you make at least six figures annually. oh well.

i was scared when teitell mentioned her job as a journalist (lifestyle columnist) at the "boston herald". fellow bostoners will know that that is the scariest newspaper in town--a shrill right wing rag. i feared that i was inadvertently reading the mommy memoir of a grizzly mama. but whatever politics teitell actually subscribes to are shrouded in secrecy as she instead focuses on the trials & tribulations of breastfeeding, keeping her nanny happy, organizing playdates around cold season, & being caught out not knowing the words to popular children's songs. it's nothing groundbreaking, but i've read so many shitty supposedly funny books of personal essay in the last few years that reading something by a halfways competent writer was a breath of fresh air. i think teitell's apparent class privileges prevent this book from being particularly relatable to a lot of moms, but it could have been so much worse.

sometimes i feel that the bar for new memoirs has gotten so low, even an earthworm would lose if the bar were used in a game of limbo.

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