Thursday, January 26, 2006

Little Earthquakes

Finished Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner recently. Terrific book. I really hate that books by female authors that are about women, perhaps containing an element of humor, are dismissed as "chick lit." Sure, some books about women are the literary equivalant of cotton candy, but not all of them are. Books by Jennifer Weiner and Marian Keyes in particular, tell stories about complicated, nuanced characters. Yes, they're women, and yes, the challenges they face are feminine, but does that mean they can be dismissed?

Little Earthquakes is about three women who have just started a challenge that I am quite familiar with - motherhood. One of the things I liked about it is that all three of them have different approaches to how they take care of their babies. Alinde follows the rigidly scheduled plan of the book Baby Success!, kind of a hybrid between the attachment parenting of Dr. Sears, the scheduling of Becoming Babywise, and the folksy conversational style of Tracey Hogg. Becky kind of goes with the flow. And Kelly is very type-A, filling out charts to note Oliver's naps, feedings, and diaper changes (yeah, that sounds familiar). I think I've been sort of a combination of the three. Yes, we had Jack's chart for a long, long time. And I did my best to keep Jack on a schedule, at least keeping one long nap, bedtime, and feedings as consistent as possible. But at the same time, I tried to be flexible and go with the flow.

It's been interesting watching other new moms to see how they manage things. Just about everyone does seem to have a plan in place. In an interview with Weiner (hee) in the back of the book, she said that she thinks that this is one of the most planned generations of children ever. Not only did we women plan exactly when we'd have our babies, but just about every woman has some kind of plan in place for how she'll take care of the baby on a day to day basis. If there's a book on the subject, we've read it and formed an opinion of it. What this will eventually mean for our kids, I don't know. It is honestly probably more for the moms, our way of feeling some control in a situation where we truly don't have much.


K said...

I just finished "Good in Bed," which I really liked. I'm now reading "In Her Shoes," that I'm not liking as much. Can I borrow "Little Earthquakes?" Your review makes me really want to pick it up.

Betsy Wasser said...

Absolutely. We need to figure out a time to hang out, have a book exchange, and maybe let Andy and Jack play together.

K said...

That sounds v. v. good. Andy has some new toys and I'm sure he and Jack could find a way to destroy. I'm in the middle of "In Her Shoes" which is improving, but still not as good as "Good In Bed." I also have some Marian Keyes books to lend if you're interested. She has "Such for Beginners" and "Rachel's Holiday." Both are similar to Weiner's books and good reads.