Pregnancy is a weird and amazing time. Growing a little human is incredible, but also scary and hard on your body. Some women experience hard pregnancies with lots of health issues, other women have no troubles at all. Despite the fact that many women are extremely happy about becoming a mother, there are plenty who are not. Even for those women who are excited, there can also be a lot of apprehension. Am I ready? What kind of mother will I be? These are questions most mothers to be ask themselves. The books this week all explore the strange and life changing time that is pregnancy.
The Book of Essie, by Meghan Weir – Essie is the youngest child of a large Evangelical family that has its own reality TV show. The family’s image of perfection has been cultivated over years, and they are rarely able to be their authentic selves. When Essie becomes pregnant at seventeen, their image is threatened, and her parents and the show’s producers decide what they should do. Should they send her away for an abortion? Pass the baby off as her mother’s or a foster child? Or should they plan a huge wedding quickly? As Essie’s life decisions are made for her, she pairs herself with a senior at her school with secrets of his own, and a reporter to help sell her marriage and eventually tell her story.
The Cactus, by Sarah Haywood – Susan green is single and happy. She lives an orderly and unemotional life, and it suits her fine. Until she finds out she is unexpectedly pregnant. Around the same time, her mother dies. When Susan gets a copy of her mother’s will, she learns that it largely favors her slacker brother who she doesn’t get along with well. When she returns home for her mother’s service, she is set to confront him, but things don’t go as planned. As Susan attempts to gather evidence to contest the will, she also grapples with her own fears and misgivings of becoming a mother herself. She begins spending more time with her brother’s friend Rob along the way, and discovers that it might not be so bad to be emotional sometimes.
The Farm, by Joanne Ramos – Jane is a immigrant from the Philippines who wants nothing more than a good life for her baby girl. When she struggles with money, she agrees to be a “Host” at Golden Oaks, colloquially known as The Farm. Jane and the other Hosts are surrogate mothers for rich upper class women. They are given free organic meals, massages, the best fitness training, and everything else they could want. As perfect as this seems, they aren’t allowed any contact with the lives they are leaving behind for nine months, and if they break the rules, they lose the large amount of money they will earn when their babies are born. As Jane begins to worry more and more about her baby and her elderly aunt, she becomes desperate, and has to decide between staying for the money, or losing it all to go back home.
For a list with these three books and more like them, click here.