Sandra Danby emailed me and asked if I would like to review The Milk of Female Kindness: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood by Kasia James (Contributing Editor).
“I’ve just had two of my short stories published in an anthology and wondered if you would review the book on your blog? It’s called ‘The Milk of Female Kindness’ and includes short fiction, poetry, art, memoir and medical writing on the theme of honest motherhood. Some of the writers have recently given birth, others are grandmothers. Some, like me, are childless; my writing is inspired by memories of my own mother. Some of the pieces will make you smile, others are heartbreaking.”
I responded “… be happy to… given the theme which is close to my heart also”. Of course. I have been around mothers my whole life. Many of my family, friends and colleagues are mothers.
But my reactive assumption of familiarity with the subject was way off. It amounted to: I’m a woman; a Sagittarian, ergo I value honesty above all else; and my mother gave birth to me.
Reading the The Milk of Female Kindness contributions was eye-opening. It was like reading science fiction – women but another life-form, inhabiting a planet unfamiliar to me.
A colleague years ago shared the details of her entire pregnancy with our little office clan but that’s far different to what comes later. She resigned to take on a new role of full-time mum. She may as well have left the country as far as those of us who remained were concerned. Read the rest of this entry »