Jessica Grose combines a journalist’s perspective with ferocious personal candor to lay bare the subject of motherhood in America ... One of the book’s most fascinating passages relates the experience of Eliza, a mother in the 1800s, who writes to her mother about her postpartum agony ... It’s always mothers who are asked to do the work — the very same people who may be most strapped for time, financially strained and exhausted. This notion feels almost reactionary amid the bolder ideas this book champions. Then again, mothers are the ones who truly understand the stakes.
Fierce, timely, unflinching ... Her book is equal parts memoir, journalism, cultural criticism and manifesto, and it would make an excellent holiday gift for a loved one who is considering having a child and really shouldn’t ... Grose bases these conclusions on not just her own experience but also extensive interviews and research ... It’s a disturbing and important story, and Grose tells it in an engaging and relatable style. By this final section, though, I found myself wishing she’d probed more deeply into the systemic, ideological roots of the crisis and the political contradictions that exacerbate it.