by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)
Thanks to Partner Books Forward for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. The book releases Tuesday, May 5.
I texted a picture of the first page of Brandy Ferner's Adult Conversation, about the protagonist's inability to have a few minutes alone in the bathroom, to Sara and Ashley and just said "Page 1 of Adult Conversation is promising. 😂” Their responses? "Heehee. I like that!" and "😂😂😂 So painfully like my own reality. 😳💩🤣” That conversation, friends, sums up my feelings about this book: it's funny, I like it, and it's SO much like the reality of the lives of mothers everywhere.
The novel is about April, a stay-at-home mom of a two year old and an eight year old whose only time alone is when she goes to the dentist for a filling. Her husband Aaron loves her and tries to be understanding and helpful . . . but he doesn't REALLY get it. He doesn't understand why April doesn't want to be affectionate or why she gets upset when he has to work late or why she worries so much about what the kids are eating.
Ferner brilliantly immerses the reader in April's daily struggle. And yet, it's hilarious. And painfully true. The fact that she can't go to the bathroom without her daughter melting down over the closed door between them? Yep, I've been there. The fact that she agonizes over every second of screen her kids have and yet her husband blindly lets them zone out in front of a movie or video game? Been there, too.
The book eventually shifts when April decides that something must change and starts seeing a therapist. I loved the relationship that develops between these two women and the ways that April starts to understand herself. While I won't spoil anything, I will say that I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second, which departed (for me) a step too far from honest reality, but the humor and insight are consistent throughout.
Whether you're a mother yourself or just want to understand a modern-day mom's life, I would absolutely recommend picking up Brandy Ferner's Adult Conversation.
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