Book groups, a blog review, and conversations about motherhood

If you belong to a book group, I hope you will consider choosing Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir as one of your selections. Here’s what two friends wrote about reactions from their membership:

Our Book Group started in October 1997…  We have now read 134 books, yours being the 134th.  We have read classics, non-fiction, contemporary works and books recently written by acquaintances.  Last night we had by far the most intense, intimate, lengthy discussion of a book – everyone loved it. 


Mamalita led to one of the best and most substantive book group discussions  we’ve had in our 10-year history – especially since everyone loved the book and there wasn’t anything to disagree about! It was amazing that the book seemed to resonate equally among the mothers, the adoptive mothers, and the non-mothers. And surprising how many people we all know who’ve been touched in some way by adoption.

If you loved the book, please suggest the title to your book club. Some sixty percent of Americans report being touched by adoption in some way. Chances are that some of those people are in your book group, and would also enjoy the read.

I’m pleased to link to this blog, Thighs & Offerings: Everyday Efforts at Embodied Spirituality, which reviewed Mamalita in terms of its theme of motherhood. Mamalita‘s first chapter opens with this sentence:  “I’ve never given birth, but I know the exact moment when I became a mother: 10 A.M., September 6, 2002.”  That was the day I met my daughter, the baby who would become Olivia, for the first time.

In her her blog post, Kate writes:

Mamalita is, according to Publishers Weekly, “[H]arrowing and moving…deftly handled.” And I agree. But as a young woman beginning to consider the possibility of one day becoming a mother myself, it is not only the enjoyment that I experience in reading a “deftly handled” memoir, but also the thought, conversation, and questions that such a memoir provokes that, to me, make O’Dwyer’s book worth reading. One such question has persisted, and has found its way into conversations even now, long after I finished the book. When, I have wondered time and time again, does a woman become a mother?

I’m a person who believes that we learn by asking questions and discussing. How wonderful that, for some people who have shared their views with me, reading Mamalita initiates that process.


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