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That Kind of Mother de Rumaan Alam
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That Kind of Mother (2018 original; edició 2018)

de Rumaan Alam (Autor)

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2128100,479 (3.33)6
"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."--Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere...From the celebrated author of Rich and Pretty, a novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keep...Like many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed. Struggling to juggle the 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 help--Priscilla Johnson--and begs her to come home with them as her son's nanny. Priscilla's presence quickly does as much to shake up Rebecca's 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"--… (més)
Membre:exlibris324
Títol:That Kind of Mother
Autors:Rumaan Alam (Autor)
Informació:Ecco Press (2018), 304 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

That Kind of Mother de Rumaan Alam (2018)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I have no idea what I read (?) or listened to in this case. The book is beautifully written and would possibly work better in reading than listening. In my opinion though, it tried to tackle too many themes and dealt with them in broad strokes without cutting to the essence of any. There are the subjects of motherhood, the families we are born into and those we create, the breakdown of marriage, and the differences between white privilege and black survival. Mostly, however, it is about one privileged woman who did not sufficiently address or question her privileges.

The story starts with Rebecca giving birth to her son Jacob. She is overwhelmed by new motherhood, and finds it hard to cope, she enlists the help of Priscilla, the lactation consultants, and asks her to become her nanny. They build a symbiotic relationship, but while Priscilla only benefited from the Rebecca Stone financially, Rebecca thought that the nanny's presence helped her cope, accept and enjoy motherhood. When Priscilla becomes pregnant then dies shortly after childbirth, Rebecca adopts baby Andrew.

It was hard for me to understand how a mother who talked about throwing her own child from the window found it so easy to adopt a child not of her own flesh. So while she dealt with her own child as a spoiled rich girl, she brought up the child of another woman as her own, and this time she did it herself, finally becoming a full-time mother to her own child as well. Rebecca is a poet, has a touch of the spoiled rich girl about her. It is interesting that at the beginning of the story, and several times throughout she link herself to Princess Diana, another privileged white woman with a highly public yet emotionally vacuous lifestyle.
Near the end of the book there is an imagined dialogue Rebecca has with the princess, and wonders whether her kindness and charity, her sympathy for children who lost limbs to mines, or AIDS patient was only for the cameras. Perhaps Rebecca did question whether it was the same with her, adopting this baby, although she was always sensitive against those who praised her charity and heroism adopting a black child.

I am not a great fan of poetry, or perhaps I did not read good poetry. In the book Rebecca says that poetry is as much about the reader as it is about the written text. It is open-ended to the point that it resonates with what you already have inside you (I am not sure I am quoting her any passage of the book or paraphrasing my own understanding in light of what I have read). In this respect the book comes across to me like a piece of poetry that I did not understand, because it did not resonate with what I have inside. I am a mother myself but I accepted motherhood readily and instantly, and I do not understand how long it took Rebecca to embrace motherhood and weave it into her life and craft as a poet. I could not help think also that she lived life within her own head, as poets and writers do. Her idealism and optimism will be hard to stick to in the current social and political climate. The book ends prior to the current Trump era, and I daresay that if a sequel was to be written in the current time, it will only show that her belief in raising her black son and white son as equals was unrealistic. The omens of doom for the black son are already there in this volume.

Postscript: After writing this review I found out that the author is male. I am now wondering whether the dissonance I felt was because of this biological fact that removes him from the actual experience of motherhood. It is commendable how he unflinchingly dealt with aspects of labour and childbirth, breastfeeding and child-rearing, but there is something missing there that aludes me. Motherhood, after all, is more than the sum of its painful and unsightly parts, and more than its daily drudgery. ( )
  moukayedr | Sep 5, 2021 |
Raises important issues that are worth thinking about, but I rushed through it just to be done spending time with Rebecca Stone. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
3.5* ( )
  gumnut25 | Apr 21, 2020 |
I must have chosen to read this book on the suggestion of a book list. While it was very different from the genre I normally read, it was interesting, but just not my cup of tea. It explored motherhood and its changes to a marriage, to a family, to children. It explored a black child being raised by a white family.
It began in 1985 and continued through to 1999, and I did enjoy reliving my memories of those years when the author mentioned a particular event or piece of culture.

#ThatKindOfMother #RumaanAlam ( )
  rmarcin | Jan 22, 2019 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 8 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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You give love a little shove and it becomes terror.
---JOANNA NEWSOM
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FOR A. AND FOR V.,
who made us a family
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The book lied.
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A six-month-old was like a drunk who is convinced that his patter is charming.
"Fate is the laziest way to explain terrible things."
She didn't want to be that kind of mother, the one who can't stop talking about her children, can't stop thinking about them.
It was one of the best feelings possible to have, wasn't it, to watch two children at play, or maybe it was only thus when they were your children, and you had this evidence of their bond, and it was so profound it was impossible not to imagine it lingering, persisting, that someday you'd be dead but they'd have this, one boy's hands clinging to his bother's back, a metaphor, but real.
Poets sang the past to help understand the future.
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"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."--Celeste Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere...From the celebrated author of Rich and Pretty, a novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keep...Like many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed. Struggling to juggle the 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 help--Priscilla Johnson--and begs her to come home with them as her son's nanny. Priscilla's presence quickly does as much to shake up Rebecca's 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"--

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