The Playgroup: Three Women Contend with the Myths of Motherhood

Nina Barrett, Author Simon & Schuster $20.5 (206p) ISBN 978-0-671-74710-7
In this unusually direct and highly personal book, Barrett ( I Wish Someone Had Told Me ) follows the lives of three young mothers in Chicago, including herself, during the two years their children attended the same playgroup. Grace is a ``New Age'' mother who strives to use only ``politically correct'' parenting techniques; Angie feels betrayed by her husband's devotion to his career and is dismayed by his lack of interest in their child; the author struggles to balance motherhood and career without sacrificing either. Pregnancy, birth and new motherhood are the poles around which such issues as sexuality, friendship, body image, self-esteem, marital conflict and even--in Angie's case--incipient mental illness, are examined. Although these women are friends, their stories are very different. With sympathy but without sentimentality, Barrett dismantles popular conceptions about motherhood, telling something of what it is really like to be a young mother in the 1990s. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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