- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Ecco (May 8, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062667602
- ISBN-13: 978-0062667601
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 63 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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That Kind of Mother: A Novel Hardcover – May 8, 2018
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“Riveting..an outstanding depiction of motherhood and cross-racial adoption...The tensions of privilege and identity are brilliantly set against the backdrop of wealthy American cities, and Alam’s pacing is phenomenal...An astonishing book.” (Washington Post)
“That Kind of Mother’s greatest triumph is its insistence on complicating the rescue narrative of transracial adoption without resorting to dogmatic indictments of its characters….the novel also reveals the extent to which Alam is attuned to the concerns and candor of women.” (The Atlantic)
“Laced with humor and remarkably rich in detail…thrills in its attention to nuance…Alam’s generous rendering rings authentic.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Alam’s second novel, about two families brought together by the death of a beloved nanny, expertly and intrepidly blends topics of the zeitgeist, including race, privilege, and motherhood, without sacrificing elegant prose and signature wit.” (Vogue.com)
“Coming off his celebrated debut Rich and Pretty, Rumaan Alam’s sophomore novel returns to themes of family and culture in a powerful tale of a white mother raising a black son.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“[Alam’s] is a voice we want to read on just about every issue. In this novel, the issues he addresses are parenting, race, class, and privilege, and he explores these fraught topics with his trademark wit and sensitivity, never pandering or veering into cliche.” (Nylon Magazine)
“From [a] heartbreaking premise, Alam plumbs still more heartbreaking questions about the power and limitations of maternal love, and the implacable persistence of racial divides.” (Huffington Post)
“Alam explores questions [of race, class, and privilege] with exquisite tenderness, palpable detail, and excruciating empathy.” (Marie Claire)
“If you want something smart, relevant, and compassionate…pitch-perfect…quite special.” (LitHub)
“One of the glories of this novel, as it tracks Rebecca through 1999, is its compassionate exploration of individuals reaching across racial and class divides to create family.” (BBC.com)
From the Back Cover
It’s 1985, and like many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself equally overwhelmed and overjoyed by her newborn son.
Her husband is willing to abdicate child-rearing to her as he focuses on his career as a diplomat, so Rebecca is left on her own to juggle the demands of motherhood with her aspirations to be a poet. She aims to follow the example of Princess Diana—a personal idol, the living embodiment of grace and good humor.
But it’s not the princess who changes Rebecca’s life; it’s Priscilla Johnson, who comes to work as the family nanny. Priscilla brings order to the household even as her presence shakes up Rebecca’s perception of the world. As race once again becomes a flashpoint in American society, so too it becomes a deeply personal matter inside Rebecca’s cloistered and comfortable life—an opportunity to confront, for the first time, the blind spots in her own privilege.
Rebecca feels so profoundly connected to the woman who has taught her what it means to be a mother that when Priscilla dies unexpectedly in childbirth, it seems strangely natural for Rebecca to step forward to adopt the baby. But she is unprepared for what it means to be a white mother with a black son. As she soon learns, navigating motherhood will be a matter of learning how to raise two children whom she loves with equal ferocity, but whom the world is determined to treat differently.
With the same warmth and psychological acuity that defined his debut, Rumaan Alam has crafted a remarkable novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keep.