Reviewed by Asha

This book examines the complex relationship of being mothered, spanning across different dynamics and genders, and I loved it.

This has been one of the best collection of essays I’ve read, its incredibly diverse in its experience and you may find a story that is relatable to your own. The essays incorporate a spectrum of experiences from people who are very close to their mothers to others who experience tumultuous and guarded relationships.

Melissa Febos wrote an essay titled “Thesmophoria” where, although her relationship with her mother was on the positive side, she examined how she grappled with her system of tallying how she has hurt her mother, the secrets that weren’t well kept, and how she was the one who breached the trust she had with her mother.

In the essay “Her Body/My Body”, Nayomi Munaweera delves into her mother’s inability to allow her control over her own body as a child, stemming from her mother’s own struggle with ownership and advocating for herself — the result of a bad arranged marriage. Although this dynamic was more extreme than the quintessential mother-child relationship, the undertones are reflective of our experience as women. There is a very real fight for ownership over your own body, even with our own mothers.

This book made me think of the list of subjects that even I cannot broach with my mother, and why that is.

This book is available for circulation within the Municipal Library Consortium.