Jesse and Ramon are a loving couple, but after years spent unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant, they turn to adoption, relieved to think that once they navigate the bureaucratic path to parenthood they will have a happy ending. But nothing has prepared them for the labyrinthine process - for the many training sessions and approvals; for the constant advice from friends, strangers, and "experts"; for the birthmothers who contact them but don't ultimately choose them; or even, most shockingly, for the women who call claiming they've chosen Jesse and Ramon but who turn out never to have been pregnant in the first place.
Jennifer Gilmore's eloquence about the human heart - its frailties and complexities - and her razor-sharp observations about race, class, culture, and changing family dynamics are spectacularly combined in this powerful novel. Suffused with passion and fury, The Mothers is a taut, gripping, and satisfying book that will stay with listeners long after it's over.
©2013 Jennifer Gilmore (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
"Jennifer Gilmore...explores the deep and plangent desire for a child, but also takes on the epic state of contemporary motherhood itself: its status, its limitations, its pleasures and sorrows, and the fantasies that inevitably surround it. This well-observed exploration of maternity both day-to-day and existential has the ache of longing at its heart, and the result is both broad and personal, and always engaging." (Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings and The Ten-Year Nap)
"The Mothers is a searing examination of the very human desire to be that seemingly simple thing: a mother. Jennifer Gilmore explores the emotional depth and breadth of mothering with raw honesty and her signature grace." (Ann Hood author of The Red Thread and The Knitting Circle)
"I couldn't stop reading it - it had the harrowing qualities of a psychological thriller, the comedy of a familiar Jewish family, and was alternately hysterically funny and heartbreaking. It is down to the bone stripped-bare honest." (A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven and The Mistress's Daughter)
Several times while listening to this narrator's whiny voice I decided to give up because of the lead character's constant complaining about everything while trying to adopt a baby, but had invested enough time that I wanted to know how it would turn out. It was not worth my time.
Book was too straightforward--not enough literary texture.
Her voice has an anxious, tense quality that made the character seem unlikeable. Also, there were problems with her reading (the director should have caught these). She doesn't know how to pronounce Jewish words, she pronounces "Ramon" in two different ways, her Ramon accent is strangely Russian at times, and she's inconsistent--Ramon has an accent but his mother doesn't.
The book was very informative--I learned a lot about the adoption process by reading it. Anyone contemplating adoption will find this very useful and thought-provoking.
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