Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Baby and Other Stories

Baby and Other Stories by Paula Bomer

I picked this book up, sans research, after enjoying the short stories in I Was Told There'd Be Cake.  And, as I was nearing my 7/14/11 due date at the time, I thought, "Stories about babies??  How perfect!"  Perfect wouldn't necessarily be the word I'd choose now that I've read the book.  The stories were less than uplifting.  This might've been a better read for 6 months down the road, when motherhood was really starting to take an exhausting toll on me.  But even then, it's kind of depressing.  Guess I should've read the review below before diving in.  The last sentence says it all.  :)  All that said, I read the book awfully fast, so there's obviously some pull in it that makes it a good read.

Publishers Weekly review from Amazon:

Starred Review. In 10 raw and angry stories, Bomer flays the idea of happy little families, giving readers an assortment of emasculated and discarded husbands; brooding, unfulfilled wives; and the poor children--destined for therapy--unlucky enough to bind them. Bomer's characters, Brooklynites for the most part, having been coddled by adoring mothers, raised in upper-middle-class homes, and propelled from Ivy League colleges, now shrink from "the cold reality of the indifference of the universe." For Lara in the title story, having a baby turned into bitter disappointment once she realizes that winning the "ultimate contest" really entails a life of drudgery. Bomer's characters spew many ungracious thoughts, but these are forthright, hilarious, and honest, as with Edie, the snarly mother of two grown sons, who so evidently favors her golden Thomas over the needy Michael, "who was uncoordinated, who needed glasses, who clung to her as a boy too big to be clinging to his mother," that she exults in his unhappiness as a newly married man and father. This lacerating take on marriage and motherhood is not one to share with the Mommy and Me group. (Dec.) (c)
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