The Link Between Parent and Child

Pregnant women will find much food for thought in Lauren Slater's Love Works Like This: Opening One's Life to a Child. Psychologist Slater (Prozac Diary) remembers how she made the decision to have a child. She made a list of pros and cons, and upon siding with the only "pro" ("learning a new kind of love"), began the journey toward motherhood. In a diary-like format, she tells of her violent mood swings, disturbed appetite and uncertainty at holding a child's dress in her hands and "finding it definitely not cute." Largely a personal, biological and psychological history, Slater's book is ultimately uplifting. (Random, $21.95 224p ISBN 0-375-50376-5; May 21)

Exploring mother-daughter relationships on another level, Feathers Brush My Heart: True Stories of Mothers Touching Their Daughters' Lives After Death gathers stories from women who have been contacted by their departed mothers. Editor Sinclair Browning (a mystery series writer) spoke with more than 70 women from various backgrounds about visits, signs and warnings they've received from their deceased moms. The anecdotes have more of a touchy-feely bent than a science fiction one: Linda Blanchard saw her mother as an angel in a dream and Carolyn Niethammer felt her mother's arms keep her safe when she was hit by a drunk driver. (Warner, $19.95 288p ISBN 0-446-52819-6; Apr. 3)