Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother

Beth Ann Fennelly, Author W. W. Norton & Company $22.95 (220p) ISBN 978-0-393-06182-6
Poet Fennelly shares, in letters to a formerly pregnant friend, the joys and sorrows of pregnancy and motherhood. Fennelly's letters read like prose, but they're also loaded with information on all aspects of pregnancy-cravings, fear of childbirth, anxieties over health and a changing body-as well as insights on relationships and child rearing. In one letter, she shares a powerful and personal story about how ""family secrets...have a way of rotting a family's foundation,"" and in another she writes about the pleasant surprise of discovering that motherhood ""is tremendously sweet, which we all know; it's also tremendously funny, which isn't so well recognized."" The letters are arranged chronologically, so the topics ebb and flow according to Fennelly's moods and daily experiences, so the letter celebrating her daughter's victory over potty training is followed by a letter revealing ""the erotics of motherhood,"" which is followed by a treatise on maintaining a tranquil home after baby's arrival. Expecting and new mothers looking for short doses of inspiration will find a year's worth here.
Reviewed on: 04/17/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Paperback - 220 pages - 978-0-393-32978-0
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