The Resource That kind of mother, Rumaan Alam

That kind of mother, Rumaan Alam

Label
That kind of mother
Title
That kind of mother
Statement of responsibility
Rumaan Alam
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
Library Journal Best Books, 2018.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ “Write what you know.” This is one of the most common directives issued to writers, but Alam (Rich and Pretty, 2016) upends that old model in this quietly brilliant novel about motherhood, families, and race. Alam’s protagonist, Rebecca Stone, unlike Alam, a gay man of Indian origin, is a white mother, yet his portrait is quite possibly the best peek at motherhood and its disorienting seesaw effects on a middle-class suburban woman that we have seen in a long while. Stone, the very definition of white privilege, is fumbling her way through motherhood when she makes an irrevocable, life-altering decision: to adopt a newly orphaned black baby. In narrating Rebecca’s tale of gradual self-awareness, Alam’s unerring yet unobtrusive eye asks uncomfortable questions: Can motherhood ever look beyond race? Can we learn to recognize the terrible blindness of our respective cultural perspectives? Even in seeking inspiration from Princess Diana, Rebecca proves to be an effective everywoman, quietly screaming at the cacophony that accompanies motherhood’s “thematic repetitions,” while trying to do right by her husband and her sons as she navigates the loaded landscape of parenting and race in America. A stunning accomplishment. -- Apte, Poornima (Reviewed 3/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 13, p22)
  • Alam’s second novel (following Rich and Pretty), an often incisive chronicle of an unconventional family, opens with the birth of poet Rebecca’s first child, Jacob. In the hospital, the awed and rather intimidated new mother meets a proverbial savior, a pregnant nursing consultant named Priscilla, who becomes Rebecca’s nanny. When Priscilla dies giving birth to her own child and her grown daughter, Cheryl, decides she cannot raise the child herself, the distraught and guilt-ridden Rebecca convinces her husband, Christopher, that they should adopt the child, a boy they name Andrew. Rebecca welcomes Cheryl into the life of her baby brother, but the husbands and parents of both Cheryl, who is black, and Rebecca, who is white, struggle to come to terms with the melding of the two families. Alam skillfully tackles issues of race and parenthood; in one searing scene, after Cheryl’s husband is stopped by the police, Cheryl begs the bemused Rebecca to let them talk with Andrew about the perils faced by black men in America. While Rebecca’s career as a prize-winning poet isn’t convincing, readers will empathize with the herculean effort Rebecca puts into her vocation as a parent. The novel offers a memorable depiction of a mother’s journey as her children grow and her marriage collapses. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 03/12/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 11, p)
  • New mother and accomplished young poet Rebecca Stone, who is white, gives birth to Jacob in the 1980s. Married to Christopher, a British diplomat stationed in Washington, DC, she has a life rich with government intrigue and more than a little Princess Diana-watching. When Rebecca bonds with Priscilla Johnson, her breastfeeding coach, who is black, and brings her into the home for more help, the household is thrown into a shocking crisis. Already a mother to Cheryl, fortyish Priscilla is once again pregnant and tragically dies in childbirth. Overwhelmed by grief and the impending arrival of their own child, Cheryl and her husband agree to Rebecca's wish that Priscilla's baby Andrew join the Stone family, first on a temporary basis and then permanently through adoption. VERDICT Alam's deeply sensitive and provocative second novel (after Rich and Pretty) authentically touches on themes front and center in today's discourse—white privilege, the rocky path of good intentions, racial divides, and the profoundly intimate details of motherhood and of accomplished women finding their way in a man's world. [See Prepub Alert, 11/6/17.] --Beth Andersen (Reviewed 04/15/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 7, p58)
  • /* Starred Review */ This story about a white woman who adopts her black nanny's son burrows deep into issues of race, class, and the nature of family. Rebecca Stone is the attractive wife of a British diplomat, a talented poet, an admirer of Princess Diana (the book is set in the late 1980s and '90s), the sort of person who is equally adept at both attending and hosting parties. She lives in a tastefully decorated house in Washington, D.C.; wears designer clothes; drives a Volvo; cooks delicious, complex meals in her well-appointed kitchen. In short, she is, among other attributes, rich and pretty—which happens to be the title of Alam's well-received 2016 debut novel. With this, his second book, Alam further demonstrates his ability to write remarkably convincingly from a woman's perspective, credibly capturing even the particulars of childbirth and breast-feeding, not to mention the emotional challenges of balancing motherhood and fulfilling work. When we first meet Rebecca, she is about to give birth to a son, Jacob, an event that leads to a connection with a hospital breast-feeding consultant named Priscilla Johnson, who will become Jacob's nanny. Rebecca is white; Priscilla is black. But their relationship is far more nuanced than those bare facts may lead you to expect, and their story plays out in unpredictable ways. When Priscilla dies unexpectedly in childbirth, Rebecca instinctively moves to adopt her newborn son, a decision that will change Rebecca's life, her family, and her view of the world. Here Alam proves he is a writer brave and empathetic enough not only to look at life from the perspective of another gender and era, but also to boldly dive in and explore controversial topics, posing questions about the way we treat one another and the challenges of overcoming preconceptions. Digging through to uncomfortable truths, he emerges squarely on the side of hope. With his second novel, Alam cements his status as that kind of writer: insightful, intrepid, and truly impressive. (Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10657883
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Alam, Rumaan
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3601.L3257
LC item number
T48 2018
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Race relations
  • Motherhood
  • Nannies
Label
That kind of mother, Rumaan Alam
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
291 pages
Isbn
9780062667601
Isbn Type
:Hardcover ;
Lccn
2018000165
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1000318351
Label
That kind of mother, Rumaan Alam
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
291 pages
Isbn
9780062667601
Isbn Type
:Hardcover ;
Lccn
2018000165
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1000318351

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