Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Review: "Maternity Leave" by Julie Halpern

The novel opens in the delivery room; Annie and Zach are welcoming their first baby, a boy to be named Sam, into the world.  They are so excited about this new little life, and Annie is looking forward to a good long maternity leave to bond with her little angel.  But that is the dream isn't it?  Annie soon finds that real life as a new mom just isn't like that at all.... and if we don't laugh a little, we will cry at the smallest thing and then buy everything on QVC to make us feel better.

Now I know that everyone's experience is unique and special and all that crap.  Whatever.  I started reading this book and laughing and realizing that this was so very similar to my experience it was scary.  I definitely had some of the same crying thoughts late at night where my infant son's cries for (anything) would make me cry.  Those first few weeks are such a blur now, but I clearly remember being able to turn on the TV at ANY HOUR of the day and know exactly what was on the different channels.  I saw more Jimmy Fallon at his 3am repeat time than I ever had - before or since.  And while I didn't go the QVC route... I do remember how badly I just wanted to talk to another adult about something not baby related and not guilt inducing.  This was also the same time that I had trouble keeping up friendships with my childless friends.

Halpern has brought all of this into a fun novel that will have you laughing, and crying just a little.  It is a nice light and quick read, so perfect if maybe your kids don't leave you much reading time.  I also dug the nerd culture aspect of it too...  considering I am also in the middle of a Buffy binge-rewatch.  This is Halpern's first novel for adults (though she has written several for teens) and I look forward to more!

*****
Maternity Leave
by Julie Halpern
Thomas Dunne, 2015
273 pages
Source:  Library
*****

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