Notes of a Reluctant Mother
Beacon Press (MA), Hardcover, 9780807001738, 191pp.
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Lauren Slater's rocky childhood and history of mental illness left her cold to the idea of ever creating a family of her own, but one husband, two dogs, two children, and three houses later, she came around to the challenges, trials, and unexpected rewards of playing house. In these autobiographical pieces, Slater presents snapshots of domestic life, populating them with the gritty details and jarring realities of sharing home, life, and body in the curious institution called family. Beautifully written, often humorous, and always revealing, these stories scrutinize the complex questions surrounding family life, offering up sometimes uncomfortable truths.
“A fiercely, lyrically honest memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An extraordinary essay collection.. Her sheer bravado and willingness to lay every aspect of her personal life bare is a hallmark of her writing style, and it’s on full display in each of these pieces….A brilliant example of the resonant power of “women’s writing,” Slater’s emotional revelations will strike chords in readers unable to turn away from these difficult but sincere domestic truths. Slater’s candid collection has huge book-group appeal.” —Booklist
“…throughout these 18 essays, most of which map the difficult territory of family, sex, and aging, Slater’s voice is aggressively, even unsettlingly, candid.” —Boston Globe
“Slater weaves together a series of essays demonstrating that even the unprepared and initially unwilling may create a family life that does not go up in flames (except when fire actually does break out, in which case a redemptive moment can be seized). A marked lack of vanity permeates the author’s intensely personal yet universally resonant pieces, which cover everything from the indignities of a makeover to a wrenching decision to have an abortion.” —Library Journal, Best Books of 2013: Memoir