From the celebrated author ofRich and Pretty, a novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keepLike many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed.Struggling to jugglethe demands of motherhood with her own aspirations and feeling utterly alone in the process, she reaches out to the only person at the hospital who offers her any real helpPriscilla Johnsonand begs her to come home with them as her sons nanny.Priscillas presence quickly does as much to shake up Rebeccas perception of the world as it does to stabilize her life. Rebecca is white, and Priscilla is black, and through their relationship, Rebecca finds herself confronting, for the first time, the blind spots of her own privilege. She feels profoundly connected to the woman who essentially taught her what it means to be a mother. When Priscilla dies unexpectedly in childbirth, Rebecca steps forward to adopt the baby. But she is unprepared for what it means to be a white mother with a black son. As she soon learns, navigating motherhood for her is a matter of learning how to raise two children whom she loves with equal ferocity, but whom the world is determined to treat differently.Written with the warmth and psychological acuity that defined his debut, Rumaan Alam has crafted a remarkable novel about the lives we choose, and the lives that are chosen for us....
|Title||:||That Kind of Mother|
|Number of Pages||:||291 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » That » That Kind of Mother|
That Kind of Mother Reviews
If you're looking for an insightful, though provoking book about the struggles of a white woman (Rebecca) raising a black boy, you won't find that here. There are almost no difficulties and that those that do occur are how they impact Rebecca not the child and the novel seems to have rewarded her for adopting this child with success as a poet. Frankly I'm surprised this was written by a man of color, without the author information I would have assumed a white woman wrote this.
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
This novel is less about motherhood than it is about morality. It will generate rich book club discussions. The book doesn't find its groove until about 20% in, so be patient. Spoilers below.
(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
I don't know if I'll ever recover from how well Rumaan Alam writes women. He does it incredibly well in Rich and Pretty, and he does it again in That Kind of Mother.
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.
THAT KIND OF MOTHER dives deep into big questions about parenthood, adoption, and race: Is mothering something learned, or that you're born to? How far can good intentions stretch? And most of all, can love can really overcome the boundaries of race and class? With his unerring eye for nuance and unsparing sense of irony, Rumaan Alam's second novel is both heartfelt and thought-provoking.
I really oscillated between three and four stars for this one.
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
Alam gets motherhood so exactly right—the simultaneous and entirely opposed feelings, the physical sensations, the loneliness, the pleasures. The plot of this novel hums along interestingly, and the issues it tackles (interracial adoption, well-meaning but clueless white liberalism) are interesting, too, but I would have loved the book even if those elements were excised, leaving nothing but the paragraphs about breastfeeding and childbirth. And not that the tones are remotely the same, but in i ...more
Have I read this yet? No.
Has Penny snuggled with it? Yes. And it was adorable. May this book be as good as the kitty snuggling it.