The Other Mother
By Gwendolen Gross
(Crown, Hardcover, 9780307352927, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 7, 2007
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Amanda is a successful book editor at a prominent publishing house in New York City. Thea is a stay-at-home mother of three who has never really left the community in which she grew up. Amanda, eight months’ pregnant with her first child, and her husband move in next door to Thea and her family, and the two women find themselves both drawn to and repelled by each other and their opposing choices in the constant struggle to balance career and family life.
When a disaster forces Amanda and her family to take refuge in Thea’s home, the underlying tensions simmering between them are forced to the surface-and even more so when Thea fills in as Amanda’s temporary nanny. But once dead animals start appearing on Thea’s front porch-surely a macabre gift from Amanda?-the battle with “the other mother” begins in earnest.
With a keen eye for what pulls us apart and what brings us together, Gwendolen Gross has created a stunning, dark, suspenseful novel that is as brave as it is shocking.
Gwendolen Gross is the author of the novels Field Guide and Getting Out, and received an M.F.A. in fiction and
poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in northern New Jersey with her family.
“A wonderful, compelling read for every mom torn by real (or imagined) tension with other mothers who’ve made different choices about working or staying home with kids. The Other Mother brings alive the reality of each mother's internal war.”
--Leslie Morgan Steiner, editor of Mommy Wars
“A finely wrought domestic drama, The Other Mother draws out the intimacies of two women poised against each other’s yearnings. Gwendolen Gross writes with the kind of nuance and grace that fire every moment of this timely story.”
–Amy Scheibe, author of What Do You Do All Day?
"A suspenseful and compulsively readable domestic drama that's anything but ordinary.
Smart and timely, The Other Mother is sure to keep the 'mommy wars' debate raging." –Harlan Coben
“Gwendolen Gross’s absorbing novel manages to engage all the contradictions of motherhood, marriage, and friendship–satisfaction/fulfillment, safety/danger, significance/triviality–and to give them an honest and often very funny airing. Her characters may be desperate housewives but she doesn’t mock them and, with a perfect ear for the sound of young mothers thinking and feeling their way along, she writes too richly to take sides in the stand–off between the women who go to work and the ones who stay at home.”
--Rosellen Brown, author of Half a Heart and Before and After