Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"The Mothers," by Jennifer Gilmore

I am usually wary of novels that are “about” a certain topic. “The Mothers,” by Jennifer Gilmore, is decidedly and unapologetically about adoption, and it is worth reading because Gilmore creates an emotionally gripping novel about the painful, long drawn out process a couple often goes through when trying to adopt. Although I knew intellectually that prospective adoptive parents often encounter difficulties, I wasn’t truly aware of how difficult it (usually) is to adopt, and of the enormous emotional toll it often takes on those hopeful couples. (I know single people adopt as well, and I believe it is even harder for them, but this novel focuses on a heterosexual couple, Jesse and Ramon.) Children to adopt are less and less available in the United States, and many other countries do not permit, or have stopped permitting, Americans to adopt their children. An added source of stress is the constant wonder about the best answers to give, and the ideal ways to present themselves, to adoption agencies and/or, in the case of open adoptions, to the pregnant birth mothers who will decide to whom their children will go for adoption. A strange courtship process goes on in these cases, causing the main character of this novel, for example, to constantly second guess herself, her communication with the birth mothers, and the birth mothers’ motives. Gilmore makes us live through and feel every stage of the decision, the search, the hopes, the setbacks, the scams, and more. She never lets us off the hook. I won’t spoil the story by revealing what happens at the end of the novel. __

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter