The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Books for Review


Mom Egg Review Books for Review – May, 2019

Our book reviews are approximately 750 words, and are published online at Please refer to our Book Review Guidelines for more information.

If you’re interested in reviewing one of the books below, or another book that fits our parameters, please email us at


Motherish, by Laura Rock Gaughan (Turnstone Press 2019). Motherish is a short story collection that offers an honest portrayal of the many boxes women and caregivers inhabit and transform as they navigate their role as ‘mother.’

The Not Wives by Carley Moore (Feminist Press) The novel follows the lives of three women in New York City during the year of Occupy Wall Street, as they navigate protest and political awakening in their personal lives… she engages in contemporary feminist questions about parenting, gentrification, student debt, polyamory, and more.

Non-Fiction, Memoir, and Collections

Chasing the Merry-Go-Round: Holding on to Hope & Home when the World Moves Too Fast by Kelly Barbagos* (Boulay Press, March 2018) Memoir, special needs, personal growth. Bobby was ten months old when my mom and dad rescued him from birth parents who were slowly killing him.

Travelers by Laura Bernstein-Malachy (Sonder Press ) Travelers, Laura Bernstein­ Machlay’s debut collection of essays, maps the author’s journey as she makes sense of her recovering city, the generations that preceded her, and her own definition of wife, mother and home.

The Shame of Losing by Sarah Cannon (Red Hen Press, 2018). The Shame of Losing is a short memoir that looks at life as as young mother and wife when my husband (now ex) sustained life-threatening injuries in a work-place accident. Split into three parts, and using love letters, short essay vignettes, and diary entries, it is about marriage and family – a journey of love, loss, and renewal. It takes a brutally honest self-assessment approach, asking readers to sit with ambiguity and ask oneself, what would I do if faced with extreme hardship? How would you react, or what kind of friend/sibling/colleague might you be?

The Dancing Clock by Nancy Gerber (Shanti Arts 2019). A collection of autobiographical prose vignettes ranging from the comic to the anguished that reflect on love, loss, family, motherhood, and the passing of time.



Mercy (Turnstone Press 2019) is Shirley Camia’s fourth collection of poetry, launched this month. The book offers a raw, intimate glimpse into Camia’s journey through seasons of bereavement following her mother’s death, taking readers from the wake to the graveside, and into a year of processing, searching, and healing.

Following Sea by Lauren Carter (Turnstone Press 2019) is an intimate exploration into ancestry, identity, and infertility. Carter wades almost two hundred years into the past to uncover her family’s challenging migration to Manitoulin Island, all the while charting her own struggles with infertility as she comes to terms with what it means to be the last branch on a family tree, and to never be a mother. Following Sea launched in February.

The Book of Kells by Barbara Crooker (Cascade Books 2019) Poetry. Focuses on the illuminated medieval manuscript, with a series of meditations on its various aspects.

Taking Care of Time by Cortney Davis (Michigan State University Press, 2019). For poet and nurse practitioner Cortney Davis, the truth revealed through poetry is similar to what she has experienced in the heightened and urgent dramas that occur in health care―those suspended moments in which a dying heart might be revived or unbearable suffering relieved…Davis shines a caregiver’s light on the most intimate details of the human body and the spirit within—how the flesh might betray, how it endures, and how ultimately it triumphs.

Latch by Jennifer Stewart Fueston (River Glass) Poetry Chapbook “Latch,” which deals with themes of infertility, early motherhood, and breastfeeding, as well as iconic images of motherhood in art & history.

Twilight Chorus by Holly Guran (Main St. Rag, May 2018). Holly Guran’s poems expose a remarkable thoughtfulness and care for what takes place in nature, and for what takes place with others:  whether the homeless man, the child affected by war, the aging partner, the neighbor, the friend.

Stray Harbor by Rage Hezekiah (FLP,  2019) Poetry Chapbook. Stray Harbor reflects the balance between feeling lost and feeling safe; exploring themes of identity, family, and sexuality in the natural world.

Sex and Other Slapsticks by Ellaraine Lockie Poetry Chapbook. Ellaraine Lockie’s latest poetry collection, Sex and Other Slapsticks, is a journey of discovery and rediscovery. It is a production of every-day drama of the ordinary made extraordinary, interlaced with wry homor. This is an itinerary of geographics of body and place with many surprising twists and turns.

Kairos by Libby Maxey (Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Winner, June 2019). Poetry chapbook. Kairos, Libby Maxey’s first poetry collection, speaks both to the passage of time and to the timelessness of being. The epistolary quality of the sonnet form is front and center, insisting on connection, even as the poems suggest that the mysteries of the past have nothing on the mysteries of our personal present and the people we love. Kairos makes family out of history, suggesting that a past gleaned from literature and place can help us structure, interpret, communicate, and even experience the present.

Patterns: Moments in Time by Carol Smallwood (Word Poetry).  “We do not remember days; we remember moments” Anonymous. This, along with Amy Lowell’s, “What are patterns for?” have come together in this poetry collection—connecting dots of moments and patterns through free verse and formal poetry.

Fool by Judy Swann (Kelsay Books, 2019). (These poems) … concern the poetics and politics of labor — both the workday kind and the childbirth kind — and negotiations with the body, the past, men, moons, and muses.

Evensong for Shadows by Shanna Wheeler (Resource Publications 2018)deferred hope becomes fulfilled hope. Like the Psalmist, the poet’s expressions of praise alternate with those of suffering. …refrains about miscarriage and motherhood resound throughout. Here readers find hymns of witness to wonders and griefs—songs of the infinite and the infinitesimal. Rooted in Penn­sylvania and immersed in the Christian and liberal arts traditions, Wheeler presents a collection with depth, breadth, and a music that endures.




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