Elle's Reviews > The M Word: Conversations about Motherhood

The M Word by Kerry Clare
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it was amazing

This is a wonderful anthology, with so much to unpack here. It truly covers the range of what it means to be a mother, from those who choose to have children freely, to those who make the choice not to be a mother at all, and everything in between. There is so much valuable wisdom here, and I think I will come back to it time and time again. The essay by Kerry Clare (the editor) on the her experience of motherhood seen from the other side of a previous abortion was a standout entry.

However, there was an essay later in the collection written by a woman who had chosen to adopt her younger brother's daughter, who had been left by her mother, while the woman herself was pregnant with her first child. She writes eloquently on the push and pull of love, and how her love for her biological child came easily, while that for her adopted child required more effort and work. While I can admire her for her honesty, I admit to feeling quite uncomfortable with this essay and wonder about its later impact when her daughters are older. Its brutal honesty, to a child who has already been abandoned once, may be devastating.

I think my only other reservation with this book came from a place where so many of the women wrote about their choice to have children, or not have children, as it related to their writing careers. I understand that, given that these women are writers and therefore this is what defines their experiences, but I would have enjoyed reading entries from women whose conversation around motherhood extended beyond that of writing or other artistic careers - for example: becoming mothers as teens (although there was one entry in the context of an essay on adoption), or choosing motherhood while in poverty, or other situations that may have made for a more diverse collection. However, I can understand how that may have led to a much longer collection that may have not been feasible.

Overall, a fantastic collection with many entries I'd like to re-read.
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Reading Progress

September 24, 2014 – Shelved
December 21, 2014 – Started Reading
December 22, 2014 –
page 95
December 26, 2014 –
page 161
December 28, 2014 –
page 247
December 29, 2014 – Finished Reading

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