That Kind of Mother
From the celebrated author of Rich and Pretty, a novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keep
Like many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed. Struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood with her own aspirations and feeling utterly alone in the process, she reaches out...more
There are parts of motherhood, and the trauma/chaos of giving birth, and the loneliness/exhaustion/tedium of tending to young children, that this male author gets exactly right, and the stream of consciousness way he relates those feelings are at times, quite beautiful. ...more
It’s a huge missed opportunity. It’s an interesting and rich top ...more
Rebecca Stone, a white woman in the 80’s bonds with her black nursing coach, Priscilla. The women strike an odd friendship that continues for a few years until Priscilla becomes pregnant and dies in childbirth. Rebecca decides to adopt Priscilla’s son. The story is a slow exploration of the lives of Rebecca, her sons, family and Priscilla’s family for the next decade.
This is a very quiet novel. Alam’s writing is incisive and often me ...more
It's about interracial adoption and touches on the various liberal white views of racism through the 80s and 90s, yes, but...it only touches on them. Briefly. From "all skin is the same" to "isn't America color blind now?" many problematic views are laid out, but only barely talked about.
I thought we were going to dive deep and really get into the issues of a (mostly clueless) white family ...more
This book seems like it's going to tackle race issues, but it's more of an exploration into one woman's life. Yes, she has a black son, so race is a theme, but it wasn't touched on as heavily as I thought it would be. It was very clear that Rebecca is oblivious to her privilege, and though I found her thoughts interesting, she was also infuri ...more
This book had great potential! But the themes it was supposed to explore (race, adoption, etc) were barely touched upon. Seriously, barely. There was the obligatory story about driving while black and an anecdote about a teacher m ...more
I did not particularly care for the main character, Rebecca. I did not find her storyline as a poet believable. I found it hard to reconcile the two main parts of the story: where she adopts Andrew and where she is ...more
Of course, I can't relate to motherhood, but I can still relate to a lot of Rebecca and her world - sometimes in ways I don't necessarily want to admit, alas here we are. This book deals with a lot of issues, all with care and complexity. I remain a fan, and can't wait to see what comes next. ...more
Loved this book though I'm not usually one for books about motherhood. But I was drawn to this one in part because the author, Rumaan Alam, is not a woman and in part because everyone raves about his first book, Rich and Pretty. Most men don't write female characters in convincing, meaningful ways but Alam does.
I've got a few small quibbles including the situation with Ian which was never mentioned again and the tension between Cheryl and Rebecca didn't play the role it could have have ...more
(view spoiler)[ From that point to the last page, it becomes clear that while this book is about motherhood and found families and choice, it is more an indictment of our pre-9/11 privileged dewy-eyed vision of societal good as an inevitable march forward. Which, we have been shown in horrible, gory detail ...more
My short fiction has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Crazyhorse, Meridian, and elsewhere. I've also written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic, where I am a contributing editor. I co-host two podcasts for Slate, where I am also one of the parenting advice col ...more