It’s tough to write a review of Jennifer Gilmore’s novel, The Mothers, without feeling emotionally compromised.
Babies have come to the people within my circle of family and friends in almost every way possible – through IVF and other assisted fertility treatments, through fostering, through Australian and overseas adoption and via sperm donation. My story is quite different and less fraught – we decided we wanted a baby and nine months later, my first was born. We repeated the exercise three more times. I never experienced longing for the seemingly unobtainable baby nor the disappointment of a negative pregnancy test. I felt incredibly blessed yet I was also keenly aware of the unfairness of the whole business of creating a family. Around me, friends and family members were struggling to have what had inexplicably come so easily to me. There was more than one occasion when I dreaded sharing our ‘happy’ news. Yet no matter how sensitive I was to the struggle others were having, I couldn’t exactly hide my pregnancies. And of course all I wanted for my friends who were struggling to get pregnant, was a baby but to say that (particularly when I was pregnant) sounded glib. In fact, even writing this sounds glib. I was anything but that. Continue reading