Motherhood

Motherhood

Book - 2018
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"From the bestselling author of How Should a Person Be?, a daring novel about whether to be or not to be...a mom. A "courageous, necessary, visionary" book (Elif Batuman). When I was younger, thinking about whether I wanted children, I always came back to this formula: If no one had told me anything about the world, I would have invented boyfriends. I'd have invented sex, friendships, art. I would not have invented child-rearing. I would have had to invent those other things to fulfil real longings in me, but if no one had ever told me that a person could create a person, and raise them into a citizen, it wouldn't have occurred to me as something to do. In fact, it would have sounded like a task to very much avoid. After the tumult of her 20s, the narrator of Sheila Heti's new novel finds herself living a life into which she could bring a child. She's with a man who has promised his support if she decides she wants to be a mother, "but you have to be sure." Motherhood chronicles her struggle, under pressure from friends, culture and time, and seeking answers from family, strangers, mysticism and chance, to make a wise and moral choice, and to truly understand what is gained, and what is lost, when a woman becomes a mother. Heti treats the most universal and consequential decision of early to mid-adulthood--whether to have kids--with the candour and originality that have won her international acclaim, and that made How Should a Person Be? required reading for a generation of young women. The result is a courageous, funny and ultimately moving novel about motherhood, selfhood, and how--and for whom--to live."--
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, ©2018.
ISBN: 9780345810540
Characteristics: 284 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.

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TechLibrarian Oct 31, 2018

I'll be honest that I didn't read this cover to cover, once I realized that it wasn't following a plot, I just skipped about reading passages here and there. It was very thought-provoking, especially as someone the same age as the author/narrator who does not have children, and I liked the premise of using the I-Ching as a narrative device. All that said, I would recommend the book Selfish, Shallow, Self-Absorbed over this title for anyone who is interested in reading about the topic of whether-or-not to have children, as it offers more varied perspectives. Nevertheless, Motherhood was a very honest and personal book, and well-written, just maybe not what you want if you're looking for book to curl up with this weekend.

liljables Oct 03, 2018

I can't seem to figure out what I thought of this book. Motherhood is a novel, but I couldn't help equating the narrator with the author, who is the same age and has the same profession as her character - is there such a thing as autobiographical fiction? There's no plot to speak of; this book reads more like a long-form, in-depth essay about motherhood.

So, that stuff doesn't sound very positive, but I think I enjoyed this book...there were certain passages that took my breath away, either because they seemed to be plucked right out of my head, or they articulated a belief that I'd never been able to put into words.

“There is a kind of sadness in not wanting the things that give so many other people their life's meaning. There can be sadness at not living out a more universal story - the suppose life cycle - how out of one life cycle another cycle is supposed to come. But when out of your life, no new cycle comes, what does that feel like? It feels like nothing. Yet there is a bit of a let-down feeling when the great things that happen in the lives of others - you don't actually want those things for yourself.”

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