cover image GUARDING THE MOON: A Mother's First Year

GUARDING THE MOON: A Mother's First Year

Francesca Lia Block, . . Harper Resource, $16.95 (192pp) ISBN 978-0-06-621367-5

This slight volume belies the depth of emotion conveyed within, as children's and YA author Block (Dangerous Angels, etc.) invites the reader to peer into her heart and mind during the first year after the birth of her first child. She's penned a lyrical, poetic vision of the early moments and months that are so precious and hard to describe. That the story (mostly) glosses over the monotonous work of child-rearing and the moments of frustration and anxiety is beside the point; other books provide solace for the new mother who needs to know she's not the only one who isn't enchanted by every single moment. For those who are enchanted, or for those who are dealing with the challenges of older children and wish to revisit the fleeting first year through rose-tinted glasses, Block enlightens with lines such as, "It felt like being in love for the first time. I wanted to woo her... I wanted the magic charm of fabrics and colors to transform me into a mother worthy of my daughter." She describes their adventures in parks and yoga classes and the rare moments when she learns to separate from the baby, having manicures, rediscovering her relationship with her husband and getting back to her work in writing this book. Most of all, Block illuminates the myriad ways in which her child has transformed her vision of the world, in language that sings. (Apr.)

Forecast:Block has a reputation for being way cool, and while this book isn't exactly oozing with hipness (like her popular Weetzie Bat books), it should still garner attention.