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She Looks Just Like You: A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood Paperback – March 15, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Choosing parenthood is a complex, daunting journey, with no guarantees except plenty of challenges and surprises. Nonbiological lesbian mom Miller delights in her longtime partner’s pregnancy yet discovers years of expectation and preparation still leave her unready. She is shocked and awed by the delivery, where all is “white and red. The white lights and walls of the surgical room; the red of Jane’s blood” from an unexpected C-section. Once the moms are home with baby Hannah, the nontraditional parents share all-too-common ground with most first-time parents, “thrust in a parallel universe where planning and time are irrelevant . . . our goals have been reduced to the lowest common denominator: run a load of laundry, get Hannah to eat more, try to sleep.” Miller’s distinctly less common fear, that Hannah won’t distinguish between “Mama” and “Mommy,” is triggered when at eight months, the child just babbles instead of venturing a “Ma-ma.” But surprise! Hannah smiles at her and says, “Da-da.” Readers should smile, too, at this sweetly humorous and insightful account of uncommon motherhood. --Whitney Scott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“[A] sweetly humorous and insightful account of uncommon motherhood.”—Booklist
 
“An introspective work that lays open the inner workings of lesbian parenthood while effectively demystifying parenthood in general.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Mothers as well as fathers will recognize themselves in Miller’s brave, poignant, and funny memoir about parenthood. Both unique and universal, Miller’s honest and hopeful voice shines a bright light on the adventures of creating a family in the twenty-first century.”—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and I’m Looking Through You
 
“Take one big heart, a heap of talent, and a whole lot of courage and you get Amie Miller’s She Looks Just Like You. Miller is a graceful, witty, compassionate guide along the journey that is lesbian parenting."—Harlyn Aizley, editor of Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807001511
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807001516
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amie Klempnauer Miller is a frequent speaker about gay and lesbian families, and her writing has appeared on Salon, in Brain, Child and Greater Good magazines, and elsewhere. Miller works as a development consultant to the public media industry and lives with her partner and daughter in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a prospective non-biological lesbian mom, here is what I got from this book: The process of getting pregnant will be stressful and emotional, bringing up lots of doubts and fears. You will feel disconnected from your partner. You will feel left out as the non-biological parent. Then when your child is born, your relationship, which had previously been your rock, will become fraught and troubled.

The author is honest and real about her experience, and that is valuable. If you're looking for a book that will confirm that your struggles aren't unique, then this may be a great book to read. But if you're looking for a book that will comfort you and tell you that being a lesbian, non-biological mom doesn't have to be quite as hard as you've been thinking, then avoid this book. I appreciate the author's honesty, but I wish that she had built in more hope. Simply saying that her daughter is amazing and that she doesn't regret anything didn't quite cut it for me. Maybe I can't understand, as I'm not a mom yet, but as of right now, I wouldn't recommend this book to any prospective parent (lesbian or otherwise).
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Format: Hardcover
Universal truths apply to nontraditional people whether they realize it or not. Amie Miller and her partner, Jane, decide to have a baby together through artificial insemination. While Jane carries the baby Amie keeps a journal of her own involvement with the coming baby, its birth, and early years. Jane, still a nursing mom, returns to work after Hannah is born and Amie becomes the stay-at-home parent. Amie relates her experiences with humor and love for Hannah, but at times seems very self-absorbed, for example when she doesn't understand why Jane is tired at the end of a full day of work and pumping milk for the next day.

It seems that Amie would like us to think that lesbian parenthood is somehow unique but their child-rearing experience seems not all that different from those of traditional male/female parents. Still, it's a good read for new parents and grandparents to help them understand that these struggles apply to everyone.

by Susan M. Andrus
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book, it's as simple as that. I found the author's writing very engaging, down to earth and honest: exactly what you'd hope to read, as a fellow lesbian considering launching myself into parenthood. I saw many of my own fears, thoughts and hopes in these pages. I really could relate to it. There were many funny moments that had me laughing and reading the passage out loud to my partner. It's nice to have the point of view of the non-biological mother represented and I definitely want to pass this along to my partner after I'm done.
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Format: Hardcover
I rented this book from the library so I'm not a "verified" purchase. However, I found that while the book was well written and brave, it was lacking in hope and humor that I was expecting. As a bio-mom, I was pre-screening for my wife to have a book to read with a lesbian perspective. This book focuses significantly on the author's struggle to get pregnant herself, struggles with acceptance and identity in public and private, her personal struggle to realize her identity as a mother and provider, as well as resentment throughout her partner's pregnancy and after her daughter is born. I honestly was expecting a breakup given the tone of the last third of the book. Maybe my expectations were incorrect that I would find this book to be comforting and insightful. For me, this book created concern and worry due to the perception that someone not delivering a baby could be so negative regarding their partner's pregnancy and parenting experience. Thankfully her experience has been nothing like ours, however I would advise mothers to tread lightly in reading this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a wonderful read! I love autobiographies and had high hopes for this and I was not disappointed! It was well written and well thought out. As a lesbian in a relationship involving a child that is not mine but who I love as my own I have felt a lot of the same things that the author describes. She words things in such a way that, even if you are not in the situation, you truly understand what she means, how she felt. I read this prior to my current relationship and reread it once in the relationship. I appreciated it both times.
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Format: Hardcover
Page by page, SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU is an amazing, graceful read, hysterically funny, yet understated, passionate, yet wry. Absolutely everyone, gay or straight, who's ever had a kid or thought about it will find themselves in these pages, and also lose themselves there. Compulsively readable and not to be missed!
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Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest and is open to learn of the challenges the homosexual community struggles with prior, during, and after deciding to have a child.

After reading this book by the author I found her website and blog.
The most powerful message I gained from this experience was the following:
“One morning before school, you wake unusually early. You call me in to cuddle with you. Jane is getting ready for work, in her long blue bathrobe, her wet hair wrapped in a towel. You call her in. “Come snuggle with us,” you say. She lies down on the other side of you. “Where would we be without family?” you say.” ([...])
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