SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Best Most Awful Job: Twenty Writers Talk Honestly about Motherhood

Elliott & Thompson. Katherine May. ed. Aug. 2021. 196p. ISBN 9781783964864. $22.95. CHILD REARING
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The prompt for the multiracial group of contributors to this volume was: Write what you would tell your friends about motherhood, without apologies. May, the anthology’s editor, contributes an essay about postpartum depression and its influence on her parenting outlook. Writers include Michelle, who adopts a child and fears that she won’t be the parent her child wants; Jenny, a stepmother; Emily, a single mother; MiMi, who speaks about the heartbreak of raising children who may face racism or othering; Huma, who wants her children to feel connected to their Pakistani heritage; Josie, who parents while dealing with chronic illness; and Joanne, who is an autistic mother to a neurotypical teen. Other essays deal with seldom-discussed subjects like unintended pregnancy, vaginal damage from birth, maternal rage, interruptions to sex life, and dating as a single parent.
VERDICT With the diversity of perspectives represented here, readers are sure to learn from or find solidarity in at least some of these experiences of motherhood.
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