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“An atmospheric and harrowing tale, richly literary in complexity but ripe with all the crazed undertones, confusions, and forebodings inherent in the gothic genre. Recommend this riveting, du Maurier–like novel to fans of Jennifer McMahon.” — Booklist (starred review) From the author of the internationally bestselling The Lake of Dead Languages comes a gripping novel about madness, motherhood, love, and trust. When Daphne Marist and her infant daughter, Chloe, pull up the gravel drive to the home of Daphne’s new employer, it feels like they’ve entered a whole new world. Tucked in the Catskills, the stone mansion looks like something out of a fairy tale, its lush landscaping hiding the view of the mental asylum just beyond its border. Daphne secured the live-in position using an assumed name and fake credentials, telling no one that she’s on the run from a controlling husband who has threatened to take her daughter away. Daphne’s new life is a far cry from the one she had in Westchester where, just months before, she and her husband welcomed little Chloe. From the start, Daphne tries to be a good mother, but she’s plagued by dark moods and intrusive thoughts that convince her she’s capable of harming her own daughter. When Daphne is diagnosed with Post Partum Mood Disorder, her downward spiral feels unstoppable—until she meets Laurel Hobbes. Laurel, who also has a daughter named Chloe, is everything Daphne isn’t: charismatic, sophisticated, fearless. They immediately form an intense friendship, revealing secrets to one another they thought they’d never share. Soon, they start to look alike, dress alike, and talk alike, their lives mirroring one another in strange and disturbing ways. But Daphne realizes only too late that being friends with Laurel will come at a very shocking price—one that will ultimately lead her to that towering mansion in the Catskills where terrifying, long-hidden truths will finally be revealed....
A lively collection of true tales that illuminate and celebrate lesbian parenting from the nonbiological mother's perspective
In 1965, Carol Schaefer was 19, a freshman in college and deeply in love. She was also pregnant. When her boyfriend's family opposed their marrying, her parents sequestered her in a Catholic home for unwed mothers a state away, where she was isolated and where secrecy prevailed. She had only to give up her baby for her sin to be forgiven and then all would soon be forgotten she was told. The child, in turn, would be placed with a “good” family, instead of having his life ruined by the stigma of illegitimacy. Carol tried to find the strength to oppose this dogma but her shame had become too deep. “The first time I looked deep into my son's eyes, I felt like a criminal. As I unwrapped his hospital blanket and took in the heady fragrance of a newborn, I feared the nurses or the sisters would come in and slap me for contaminating my own son.” Finding no way out, she signed the fateful papers leaving her son in the hands of strangers, but with a vow to her baby she would find him one day. For years, Carol struggled to forget and live the “normal” life promised, not understanding the consequences of the trauma she'd endured. On his eighteenth birthday, she set out to find him, although the law denied access to records. Her search became a spiritual quest to reclaim her own lost self, as she came to understand the emotional and psychological wounds she and other mothers like her had endured. Against all odds she succeeded in finding him and discovered that in many ways they had never really been apart. With her son's encouragement and his adoptive mother's cooperation, she tells their story.REVIEWS: “Strength, sadness, joy, and the power of undeniable love abound in this book.” 500 Great Books by Women (A Penguin Books Reader's Guide, 1994) The list of authors goes back to the 11th century.Nominated “One of the best books of 1991.” American Library Association. “... flows as forcefully as the finest fiction. ... This 'ten-hankie-read' never descends into sentimentality but simply reveals the unvarnished truths of the human heart.” Wilson Library Bulletin“This wrenching account, covering a range of adoption issues, is a moving testament to the bonding power of motherhood.” Publishers Weekly“An astonishing revelation of the emotions that come into play throughout the adoptive process - a must read for all concerned.” Kirkus ReviewsLiterary Guild Alternate Selection.“Inspiring ... a heart tugger.” Patricia Holt, San Francisco Chronicle“A chronicle of a time with the starkest of emotions revealed ... Readers quickly understand the trauma that lingers on deep in the hearts of birthmothers every day of their lives.” Elliot Bay Booknotes“It should be a must read for anyone who considers adoption the 'easy' answer to an unwanted pregnancy.” The Philadelphia Inquirer“As she experiences pain and love, you're on that roller coaster with her, as if the life she lived was yours.” St. Petersburg Times“Poignant and powerful, The Other Mother shatters the myth that unwed mothers, unprepared for the sacrifice they make, go on to lead normal and untouched lives.” Booklist“Any woman who has gone through any part of her experience, or has been close to somebody who has, will attest to the story's authenticity.” The Washington Post“I recommend it with all my heart. Its courage, integrity and love make it a treasure. ... not only for adoptive families and birth families, it is for everyone who longs to know how deep the levels are that connect us, and how precious.” Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul“... addresses intimately the experience of a Birthmother as no other book has - or probably ever will. Expertly written.” Jone Carlson, Editor People Searching News“Courageous, moving and heartening.” Betty Jean Lifton, Journey of the Adopted Self“A wonderful book. From my professional perspective the book is right on target.” Reubon Pannor, coauthor, The Adoption Triangle
Amanda is a successful book editor at a prominent publishing house in New York City. Thea is a stay-at-home mother of three who has never really left the community in which she grew up. Amanda, eight months’ pregnant with her first child, and her husband move in next door to Thea and her family, and the two women find themselves both drawn to and repelled by each other and their opposing choices in the constant struggle to balance career and family life. When a disaster forces Amanda and her family to take refuge in Thea’s home, the underlying tensions simmering between them are forced to the surface-and even more so when Thea fills in as Amanda’s temporary nanny. But once dead animals start appearing on Thea’s front porch-surely a macabre gift from Amanda?-the battle with “the other mother” begins in earnest. With a keen eye for what pulls us apart and what brings us together, Gwendolen Gross has created a stunning, dark, suspenseful novel that is as brave as it is shocking. From the Hardcover edition.
Bruce discusses how, as a young television reporter, she met Miller, beginning a relationship that changed her life, and recounts Miller's career as a dancer and dance teacher, her relationship with her husband Duncan, and their deaths.
On a spring day in 1993, Nancy Abrams helped her daughter dress for day care, packed her lunch, and said good-bye. Next she drove to court, where she learned that in the eyes of the law she was nothing more than “a biological stranger” to the child she helped bring into the world and raise. That was the last time she would see her daughter or hear her voice for five years. The Other Mother begins as Abrams and her female lover decide to start a family together. With giddy anticipation, they search for a sperm donor, shop for baby clothes and crib, and attend childbirth classes. But despite their high hopes, the relationship begins to fall apart, and they separate when their daughter is a toddler. Problems between the two intensify until, shortly before her daughter’s fifth birthday, Abrams loses custody. In unprecedented depth, Abrams’s compelling narrative examines the social, legal, and political implications of gay and lesbian parenting. Her haunting memoir asks the question, “What makes a mother?” It is a question that biological parents, co-parents, adoptive parents, step-parents, and divorced parents must each answer in their own way. In telling one woman’s story, The Other Mother makes a solid case for legal protections, including marriage, for lesbian and gay families.

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