Terzah's Reviews > Nine Months

Nine Months by Paula Bomer
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's review
Jun 10, 2012

it was ok
Read in June, 2012

At first, this book looked promising. It was similar to a short story I wanted to write myself when I was in the hazy, troubled early months of caring for infant twins. I had real and powerful fantasies of just leaving, taking our crappy Acura and driving to Kansas. I worried about details like how I would deal with my painful nursing breasts when the babies weren't around. Mostly, though, I just dreamed about how great 12 hours of sleep alone in a hotel would feel.

Of course I never did leave for Kansas or anywhere else, and of course I'm glad. I still think the story of a beset new mother who acted on fantasy like this would make a great, heart-wrenching novel in the right hands, and there were some moments in this book that captured the feeling of being trapped by motherhood for me. By the end, though, the unpleasantness of the narrator completely turned me off, and I felt ashamed of myself for relating to any part of this story.

Why? It may sound hypocritical, given that I've just confessed my own former selfish fantasy of leaving my husband and babies, but Sonia was so self-absorbed, so contemptuous of everyone around her (her friend, her shrink, etc.) and so typical of the kind of heroine that lots of contemporary fiction writers think we're all going to relate to, that in the end I felt much more sympathy for her husband and the two kids she temporarily abandoned than I did for her. It's not that I don't think pregnancy can make a woman feel and act crazy. It's just that I think this novel failed to make such a woman at all interesting. (She was also so foul-mouthed that I kept hearing my mom's voice in my head: "Is all that bad language really necessary?")

On top of the character issue, the writing did nothing for me.

So this one gets an extra star for promising subject matter. But it failed on all other fronts. I wanted to wash my hands after reading this book. And I gave my husband and kids extra hugs and kisses.
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01/28/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Josie (new)

Josie Why in the world would you drive to Kansas?? :)

Terzah Because it was vast and open-skied and has lots of quiet hotels with loud air conditioners good for long periods of sleep. :^)

message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy Many years ago, my mom assured me that the type of fantasy you described having is very common. Except for the Kansas part.

I think my mom wanted to go to Arizona, and on particularly wild days, Mexico.

message 4: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Oh boy, what a familiar fantasy! In mine, I simply crept around the corner to the local motel without telling my husband. Slept, took a bath, slept, read, watched a movie, slept. Now, I think I'd like to upgrade that to a nicer hotel so I could also order room service!

message 5: by Renee (new)

Renee Thompson I experienced the same. What a great review, Terzah!

Melanie Page But Sonia weaves back and forth between fleeing and love, like you. The fact that you're ashamed to admit you felt the way the narrator did at any point says a lot about the power of truths we're all afraid to admit because we feel like bad people.

Terzah I think quite often we ARE bad people (we don't just "feel" that way), or at least a lot of us are on the verge. It's proper to feel ashamed of that. I'm not ashamed of my shame. :^)

And I did say that there was truth to this novel's premise. My point was that this wasn't the character or the caliber of writing that was going to make any reader sympathize with this particular category of shameful, but very human, feelings and actions.

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