Sonya Feher's Reviews > The Godmother

The Godmother by Carrie Adams
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's review
Jul 02, 2008

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bookshelves: parenting, fiction

I've been reading parenting memoirs, journals, and how-tos for the last two years. Occasionally I find a novel with parenting as a central theme and actually manage to get through the book. Often, the parenting styles of the characters are so counter to my own or the families so much more mainstream than mine that I can't be transported in the way I expect from a good work of fiction. I don't have to love the characters, but I have to want to get to know them. I have to want to live in their lives for the few days of mine that I'll be giving to read the book.

In The Godmother, I wanted to understand the perspective of the character who was a godmother but not a mother, who wanted to be married and have a family, but was living vicariously through other families. I am so engrossed in being a mama, especially since I have been lucky enough to be able to stay at home with my son, that I fear sometimes I have nothing to say if I'm not talking about kids. It's not true. I'm rarely at a loss for words. What I fear is being insensitive, being babycentric, not being able to make room for my friends who haven't yet or won't ever have kids.

The blurbs about The Godmother let me expect to understand my childless friends' perspective. It's a lot to put on a book, but Carrie Adams delivered. The characters that make up this book lead varied lifestyles, offer more than one way of looking at family and parenting. Some are making choices I would make, some make me cringe. Overall though, I finally got to get lost in a work that felt near my life, that shares some of my dilemmas, and that loves children and grown ups both.

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