Mother Mother by Jessica O’Dwyer
Two mothers. Two countries. One adoption story.
Contemporary art museum curator Julie Cowan’s life is far from perfect. Her pathologist husband, Mark, is distracted by his gorgeous young intern, while her hotshot new boss doubts Julie’s curatorial chops. And Julie’s six-year-old son, Jack (born Juan), may never recover from trauma inflicted by early life spent in a Guatemalan orphanage. At the same time, Jack’s birth mother, an Indigenous Ixil Maya, navigates her own tumultuous path, beginning with surviving a horrific massacre during Guatemala’s civil war.
In this elegantly-woven braided narrative, both mothers of Jessica O’Dwyer’s Mother Mother (Apprentice House Press; October 1, 2020) must draw on fierce inner strength as they reckon with their life choices and grapple with privilege and power, race and disparity, and deception and love.
Mother Mother was such a moving story that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the character of Julie so much, and reading how her story unfolded. This novel was one I’d recommend to readers who want a story that will draw you in, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. Pre-order your copy today!
Author JESSICA O’DWYER is the adoptive mother to two teens born in Guatemala and author of Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir, named Best Memoir by the San Diego Book Awards. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Independent Journal, and elsewhere. She is an alum of writing conferences at Squaw Valley, Bread Loaf, and Sirenland and earned an MFA in fiction writing from Antioch Los Angeles. A vocal proponent of open adoption and lifelong connection to birth country, Jessica speaks on these subjects at culture camps, book clubs, and to anyone who will listen. She and her family, who live in California, travel to Guatemala for a month every summer to visit with her children’s birth families.
Note: I was provided a copy of this novel.