Great with Child by Beth Ann Fennelly
Letters to a Young Mother

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A toddler's mother, both an intimate guide and an affectionate coach, writes to a pregnant friend about the transforming experience of motherhood.

"These are letters I would have welcomed when I was pregnant," says Beth Ann Fennelly, as she seeks to go beyond the nuts and bolts or sentimentality of other parenting literature. The letters range in tone from serious to sisterly, from light-hearted to downright funny. Some answer specific questions such as decisions about pain medication; others muse about the identity shift a woman encounters when she enters Mommyland or address our responsibility to the natural world. Still others explore the magic and mysteries of childbirth, the wonders of language, and the exhilaration (also the ambivalence) about a baby's first steps to independence.

Here are modern letters written in an old-fashioned way, not as hasty e-mails but more slowly and filtered through the sensibility of a spirited, fearless poet. Though written for a specific person, their themes are universal, inviting all mothers to join the grand circle of giving and receiving advice about children.

About Beth Ann Fennelly

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Beth Ann Fennelly is the author of Unmentionables, Tender Hooks, Open House and Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.
Published April 17, 2006 by W. W. Norton. 224 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Crafts, Hobbies & Home. Non-fiction

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it's also tremendously funny, which isn't so well recognized."" The letters are arranged chronologically, so the topics ebb and flow according to Fennelly's moods and daily experiences, so the letter celebrating her daughter's victory over potty training is followed by a letter revealing ""the er...

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