Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood

Anne Enright, Author
Anne Enright. Norton, $24.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-393-07828-2
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 04/01/2012
Paperback - 195 pages - 978-0-09-943762-8
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-393-08407-8
Hardcover - 196 pages - 978-0-224-06293-0
Paperback - 207 pages - 978-0-393-33828-7
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4090-1728-8
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In Enright’s only work of nonfiction, the Man Booker Prize–winning Irish author (The Gathering) describes what it’s like to become a mother at 37, 18 years into her marriage. The narrative veers from the hilarious (“Martin looks at me over the back of his chair. He gives me a thumbs-up, as if to say, ‘Isn’t this a blast? And there’s football on the telly!" At 9.35 and 20 seconds I am, for the first time, in serious pain”) to the brutally honest (“I never liked being around nursing women—there was always too much love, too much need in the room”) to pure wonder—not so much at the miracle of the baby itself (although that is certainly present), but that she is a mother. And that she isn’t half bad at it. In fact, she’s good at it. The reader might wonder why she’s so surprised at all this until the last chapter. And then we realize that this book, above all, is about the redemptive power of having children: by the end of the memoir, she is finally “completely happy.” (Apr.)
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