At night, Maisie Moore dreams that her life is perfect: the looming mortgages and credit card debt have magically vanished, and she can raise her four children, including newborn Esme, on an undulating current of maternal bliss, by turns oceanic and overwhelming, but awash in awe and wonder. Then she jolts awake and, after checking that her husband and baby are asleep beside her, remembers the real-world money problems to be resolved amid the long days of grocery shopping, gymnastics practices, and soccer games.
Compassionate and lyrical ... Maisie reflects on her girlhood, growing up in New England, college, pregnancy and her children’s development, among other subjects, which are interlaced with stunning descriptions of infants, nursing and family life ... The book is wonderfully attuned to the body and its sensations ... Warmer and sunnier than most motherhood novels I’ve read in recent years, taking a gentler and more firmly realist approach ... Our ability to truly experience Maisie’s desperation is undercut by the book’s languid pace. Descriptions of this anxiety can feel both heavy-handed and intangible ... Readers who crave plot may struggle, but Minot’s focus on Maisie’s interiority reads as its own bold choice. Here is a mother’s rich and nuanced inner life, here is an author granting recognition denied by society.
This is a deep dive into the mind of a mother, with a stream-of-conciousness fluidity and randomness that make for interesting and beautiful reading. In her thoughts, readers get to explore the intricacies of motherhood and everyday life with her four children, her regrets, the mundane moments, and glimpses of wonder ... Deeply personal and moving, this is an intimate look inside modern life and motherhood.
Rapturous in its celebration of fecundity...of nature and the rhythms of birth and life, Minot’s third novel takes a more laid-back attitude to plot. Instead, her narrative is packed with the considerations of parenting ... An obsessive ode to the maternal, simultaneously poetic and stifling.