Published by She Writes Press on May 5, 2020
Source: the publisher
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April is a thoughtful yet sarcastic mother of two who tries her best to be a caring, connected mom in a middle-class culture where motherhood has become relentless. April rages at modern motherhood’s impossible pressures, her husband’s “Dad privilege,” and her kids’ incessant snack requests. She wants to enjoy motherhood, but her idealist vision and lived experience are in constant conflict with one another. Is she broken—or is motherhood?
Desperate for an answer, she seeks out a therapist, and lands with an unexpected woman whose validation and wisdom gives April the clarity to reclaim herself and even start designing clothes—her pre-motherhood passion. But when the ever-elusive babysitter cancels last-minute, April finds herself back at square one. She seeks guidance, but her therapist is now dealing with her own crumbling marriage—and instead of counseling April, she convinces her to speed off to Las Vegas with her to help catch her husband cheating. With a little weed, alcohol, and topless pool hopping, plus a male stripper and some much-needed autonomy, the two find lost pieces of themselves that motherhood swallowed up. But neither one is prepared for how tested—and tempted—they will be, or for the life-altering choices their journey will force them to make. Who is guiding whom anymore?
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I read Adult Conversation by Brandy Ferner over Mother’s Day weekend and loved it.
April is disorganized and harried. She feels like her days are filled with constant snacks, play dates, and bedtime stories. She thinks often about the days before-before she had her children, when she and her husband had plenty of time to do the activities that they both love. Of course she loves her kids! But April wonders if she’s the only one that feels like she’s barely functioning or if other mothers feel the same way.
I remember feeling that way sometimes. Overtired and like my life was not my own anymore. So it was easy for me to smile and laugh my way through April’s story. In the beginning, her kids are little hellions. I just wanted April to establish some rules and make them behave at least a little bit, but honestly I’m not sure that she knew how. In the story, they were constantly all over the place, getting into things they had no business getting into and demanding attention, even when April was trying to engage with other adults. I desperately wanted April to create some order around her so her children would respect her and see that she was the one in charge. When she finally went to a counselor, I was thrilled for her.
At about the halfway point, the book turns sharply from focusing on April and her day-to-day interactions with her family to a very Thelma-and-Louise type of friendship between April and her counselor, June.
I have a hard time imagining a life where kids are so, so wild and into everything with the frequency that April’s were. It’s also fairly abnormal that a person would have a relationship like April develops with her counselor. (I’m being vague on purpose, but hello shenanigans.) I think the point of this story is that all moms DO feel this way sometimes and that it often takes real intentional work for moms to realize that they are whole, complete, 100% people outside of taking care of their families. April has to work on creating time and space for herself so she can give back to her family, and she has to work on cultivating relationships with like-minded friends.
There were a few times that April’s circumstances or conversations really kicked me in the gut. A time or two, I felt my eyes stinging a little bit from feeling so SEEN. I think other moms will feel the same way when they read this one.
I totally recommend this as a fun, light-hearted read, especially for those that are mothers to young kids and even older ones like mine. Truly, women and men who are not mothers will also find this a enjoyable read. There’s a lot of gold in here.