Saturday, July 30, 2022

Reading Wrap Up: July 2022

(books from tour or tbr)
Mother Country
by Jacinda Townsend
Contemporary, Feminism, Africa | Published: May 3, 2022 | Goodreads | my rating: 4
motherhood was a strong theme

Shannon, an African American woman, accompanies her boyfriend to Morocco to escape from education bills, medical debt, and the unexpected revelation of her infertility following a serious automobile accident. She comes across a toddler in a pink jacket with a face that resembles hers in the cobblestoned medina of Marrakech. Shannon makes the choice to adopt and raise the girl in Louisville, Kentucky, with the assistance of her boyfriend and a bribed official. However, the girl already has a mother: Souria, an undocumented Mauritanian woman who was trafficked as a youngster and fled to Morocco to make a fresh start in her life.

In rendering Souria’s separation from her family across vast stretches of desert and Shannon’s alienation from her mother under the same roof, Jacinda Townsend brilliantly stages cycles of intergenerational trauma and healing. Linked by the girl who has been a daughter to them both, these unforgettable protagonists move toward their inevitable reckoning.

In Our Blood
by Caitlin Billings
Memoir, Mental Health, LGBTQ | Published: 2022 | Goodreads | my rating: 4
motherhood theme also hit me with this one

When Caitlin Billings became a therapist, she did so with an intention to heal from her past. She wasn’t planning on a mental health relapse or an involuntary psychiatric hold. She was a mother now. A mental health professional. She thought the issues she’d faced in her past were dealt with, tucked away forever.

She was wrong.

Over the years, Billings contends with bipolar disorder while raising two children and fighting to regain her footing as a clinician. She feels she’s finally gotten a handle on her mental health when, on the cusp of adolescence, her elder child begins to struggle with disordered eating and depressive symptoms. Convinced that she is to blame for her child’s struggles, Billings pivots her attention to this new crisis, determined to keep it together for her family—but after it comes out that sexual abuse has taken place in their home, she questions her ability to protect her children and experiences a relapse. Amidst all this turmoil, her elder child also comes out as transgender, forcing yet another kind of reckoning. Billings must find a way to accept the many changes and unexpected challenges that have reared up in their lives—and, ultimately, to accept herself.

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu