𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 by 𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑡 𝐵𝑒𝑛𝑛𝑒𝑡𝑡
I had this one on my TBR forever, and finally pulled it out of the pile. I absolutely loved The Vanishing Half, so I had high hopes for this one too.
Content warning: abortion, loss of a parent, suicide
𝐵𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑓 𝑆𝑦𝑛𝑜𝑝𝑠𝑖𝑠 𝑤/ 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑟𝑠:
This was a novel about “what might have been” at the heart of it. Nadia is our protagonist, a beautiful young woman on the brink of adulthood, wading through the heavy grief of losing her mother to unexpected suicide. She takes up with the pastors son Luke, and eventually becomes pregnant. She has an abortion and doesn’t really consider any other option. She ultimately goes off to college, travels, does what she set out to do. After coming back to her hometown to take care of her sick and aging father, she is faced with Luke, now married. They both wonder what could have been different if they didn’t have the abortion, and are haunted by the road not taken.
There were so many heavy concepts in this book. Nadia’s mom committed suicide, and nobody knew she was not well. I kept hoping more would be revealed about her mom, and insight into why she killed herself. I was with Nadia on this journey of wondering and theorizing about her mom and what she was going through that led her to that choice.
With Nadia’s abortion, it wasn’t only that she had an abortion that was heavy, but the way it was written about and continued to be brought up throughout the book as a touch point of Nadia’s development. That decision set in motion the rest of her and Luke’s life. They both went back to that decision often. Luke mourning their unborn baby was pretty devastating as well. In a lot of books that talk about abortion, we don’t often get the male partners perspective. I thought it was just another interesting layer to the story.
This book was really not what I had expected at all. I guess I went into it pretty blind, and maybe that was a good thing. It was powerful, beautiful written, and emotional. I highly recommend it and only wish I had read it sooner.
Have you read this one or The Vanishing Half? What did you think?