Mini-Reviews of Recent Reads – December 2021

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Book reviews of The School for Good Mothers, A Little Hope, and The Golden Couple.

It’s been a bit of a slow reading month for me–between the holidays, illnesses, and a million other things going on at once, I just haven’t fit in the reading time I usually do.

The few books I did manage to read were all solid and thought-provoking. I’m hoping for a little more downtime to read over Christmas!

New on the Blog

Print Books

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

The School for Good Mothers

Author: Jessamine Chan
Source: Simon & Schuster via Netgalley
Publish Date: January 4, 2021

Frida had a very bad day. At the end of her rope, she left her 18-month old daughter, Harriet, alone for several hours. As she fights to regain custody, the judge decides she must attend a new program. The women sent to the school named in the title are sent away for an entire year to practice their mothering and prove they are worthy of their children.

This is a dystopian novel that sometimes feels a little over the top. But both the sci-fi elements and the strange messaging relayed to the mothers about their duties came together in a very real way.

The messages that feel odd and overt in the book are actually very real ones that we internalize every day: that our kids are in constant danger, that mothers should have no identity outside of them, that any hurts are our fault–and we are more culpable than fathers will ever be.

Also: we must hyper-parent when they’re young, but we’re bad mothers for being protective when they’re teens–and we must know the exact moment to make that switch. Our fears become less about our kids’ safety and more about the surveillance of our neighbors–because with one mistake, all could be lost.

Despite the oddities of this book, it broke my heart and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. There is so much to discuss here; it would be a great book club pick. 4 stars

More info

Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm

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A Little Hope by Ethan Joella

A Little Hope

Author: Ethan Joella
Source: Book of the Month
Publish Date: November 16, 2021

In a small Connecticut town, the residents face the things we all face: illness, loss, grief. But also: love, devotion, second chances, and yes, hope.

This book has a bit of a Love, Actually feel, with less comedy–small snippets of people moving through their lives, grappling with the past while trying to move forward and find connections. It was a little slow, but by the end I cared about all of the characters and enjoyed this quiet read. 4 stars

More info

Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm

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Audiobooks

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple

Author: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Narrator: Karissa Vacker & Marin Ireland
Publish Date: 2022
Genres: Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers

Avery is a fixer–of relationships. Her methods are so controversial that she lost her therapy license, but they work. When Marissa and Matthew come to her for help, she knows that Marissa’s infidelity is just the start. She has to find out what’s really going on.

As Avery digs deeper, she realizes that are more secrets than she can imagine, and she becomes entangled in ways she doesn’t expect.

Amazon | Bookshop.org | Libro.fm | Barnes & Noble

What have you been reading lately?

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