Motherhood Made a Man

Karen Karbo, Author Bloomsbury Publishing PLC $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-58234-083-8
Karbo (The Diamond Lane) is at her best writing tongue-in-cheek riffs on sports and modern life and manages a successful marriage of the two in her sassy, satirical new novel. Living in the Pacific Northwest with her computer game-obsessed husband, Lyle, a photocopier-repairman, narrator Brooke finds that being the mother of six-month-old Stella has altered (i.e., obliterated) her former life as an independent movie producer; now she simply refers to herself as Brooke Stellamom. When her best friend, Mary Rose, an athletic gardener and single woman, reveals that she is pregnant by her new boyfriend, local scion (and Brooke's cousin) Ward Baron, the helpful narrator brings to the impending ""blessed event"" all of her hard-won maternal wisdom in the form of zinging one-liners and elbow-in-the-side chucklers. Ward, however, is soon revealed to be a less than perfect candidate for fatherhood: he is still married to his estranged wife, and his parents, gardening clients of Mary Rose, are incorrigible meddlers. The plot advances haphazardly, overshadowed by the narrator's har-har asides (disgruntled by Lyle's obsession with the Internet, Brooke assures herself that her baby Stella ""would never marry someone like her father"") and her enthusiasm for pro basketball. Both Brooke and Mary Rose are devoted fans of the Blazers (i.e., the free throws, the bodies), and their idolization of the players fits nicely, if improbably, into the narrative's denouement. Karbo relishes her characters' war stories of pregnancy and labor; the novel, without taking itself too seriously, proves in its cheeky details a fun (and accurate) sendup of the timeless trials of womanhood. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 06/01/2000
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 218 pages - 978-0-9970683-1-3
Open Ebook - 218 pages - 978-0-9970683-2-0
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