cover image Nine Months

Nine Months

Paula Bomer. Soho, $15 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-61695-146-7

Bomer’s debut novel (after the short story collection, Baby & Other Stories) is an interior account of one woman’s experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. Sonia is an artist, or at least she was, until her full-time identity became that of wife and mother. Content with her kind and supportive husband, Dick, and her two young boys who are finally old enough to allow her to think about painting again, Sonia is plagued by the fear that the life she is living is smaller than the life she once imagined for herself. When she finds out she’s pregnant for a third time, these feelings of being trapped by her own nest are exacerbated, and Sonia is driven to one final journey of self-discovery. Sonia’s inner and outer turmoil is graphically rendered, and the novel is characterized by raw emotion and humanity that mirrors the wrenching experience of motherhood. Bomer revisits the same tropes of death and loss in childbirth that characterize her short fiction, with the same ability to appall. This is an alarmingly genuine account of the emotions that accompany that most primal act of giving birth and raising children. (Aug.)