My top 8 favourite 'Mum' books

And this blog post has nothing to do with parenting books - just the pure joy of fiction.  I have loved reading books involving the themes of parenting, being a mum, wrestling with identity... I like to think of them as therapy in a book!

1.  'Night Waking' by Sarah Moss (2010).  Read my review here.  What I enjoyed about this book was her honesty about the intensity and constancy of parenting small people, while still being your own person with particular passions you want to pursue.

2.  'I don't know how she does it' by Alison Pearson.  I so loved this book when I read it - I found Kate Reddy's struggle with the juggle between parenting and working so reassuring.  Reassuring that I had made the right decision to not work when my kids were little.  Pearson does capture the madness of working and parenting just beautifully.  And it's funny.  And easy to read (important when you are a tad weary!).

3. 'We need to talk about Kevin' by Lionel Shriver (2003).
Shriver puts out there some of the deep and scary thoughts you have as a mother at various times, but are never supposed to articulate.  She's also just a great writer and it has a great twist at the end.  (I reviewed it here.)

4.  'and God created the au pair' by Benedicte Newland and Pascale Smets (2005).  This is one of those books that is funny and reassuring, yet with moments of sadness all in one. You have to read this book if you have small children.  This book is a series of emails exchanged between sisters living in London and Toronto, both with small kids.  Delightfully light and funny.

5.  'Digging to America' by Anne Tyler (2006).  The Donaldsons and the Yazdans are two very different couples.  But they meet a Baltimore airport in 1997 on the day they are picking up their newly adopted Korean daughters.  Despite their many differences, they meet up each year to celebrate 'arrival day'.  I enjoyed this book because it tells a nice story, but mostly for the humour that develops around the massively different parenting styles of each couple.

6.  'The Mother's group' by Fiona Higgins (2012).  This is not best book ever written but I enjoyed the stories of these six new mums who have met through a mother's group.  Read a review here.

7.  'Dying for cake' by Louise Limerick (2003).  An Australian book that tells the dark story of a mother suffering with PND and it's disastrous consequences.  A good (but full on) read.  Read a review here.

8.  'Ladder of Years' by Anne Tyler (1996).  I am a big fan of Tyler partly because she is easy to read but also captures so much of the ordinariness of life with humour and beauty.  This one of the first books by Anne Tyler that I read.  40 year old Delia Grinstead walks away from a family outing at the beach and disappears.  She reinvents herself in a small town and rethinks her life.  For anyone who has (secretly of course!) wondered what might happen if they just wandered off one day to a new life.


Libby said…
I've only read one of these - Digging to America - which I really enjoyed. It will be great to have a few to look out for when I finish my latest library book (An Isabel Allende book - Zorro)
Anonymous said…
Ladder of Years sounds interesting. I'm planning on reinventing myself next year when my #4 and last child heads off to school LOL!!

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