All My Mothers: The heart-breaking new novel from the author of the Costa-shortlisted debut, THE OTHER HALF OF AUGUSTA HOPE
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The author - in Eva’s voice - writes real humour too. Christine Olson - her boyfriend’s mother - tries to mother Eva, and Eva’s response to this superficial woman is brutal and very funny.
Its been at least a year since a book left me in tears but here we are. All My Mothers is a life story. It’s a brilliant and heartfelt exploration of motherhood, grief, friendship and the importance of platonic love.
All my mothers es un libro que lo tiene completamente TODO. Empezando porque es una oda a las madres y a las hijas; a las niñas y a las jóvenes, a las adultas y a las ancianas. Es un libro de mujeres de todos los colores, como dice el libro que la pequeña Eva Martínez-Green, The Rainbow Rained Us. En él, descubre que hay madres de muchos colores y empieza a sospechar que quizás su madre, no lo sea realmente. Por lo que decide empezar su propia búsqueda y, en el camino, va encontrándose muchas madres distintas como en su libro. Having the nuns be "the real mothers all along" feels wrong when one knows the true picture of what was happening. The religious subtone was excellent, don't get me wrong, and at the end it made sense, but it also got pushed to the front, instead of other areas that could be explored like fragile masculinity, or Pink Mother's mental state. It felt rushed, and it lost it's punch in the most critical moment. Again, using my spainard card here, the whole bought baby moment could have been So Much More Magnanimous. There was an epidemic of doctors and nurses (nuns) that flat out stole babies from their mothers (single mothers, republicans, poor women, romani women, you get the gist) and gave said babies to rich families under the fascist wing. So yeah, by romanticising nuns who literally took away a baby from a muslim woman (with the very same practice used by fascist, stealing nuns) it doesn't really leave a good taste in my mouth.
At it's heart, it is a coming of age story. But it's so much more than that. It's about the circular nature of life, it's about how disappointments come but also wonderful things, but mostly it's about girls and women and mothers, and the wonderful relationships between them all.It's like the author looses steam the second our protagonist lands in Cordoba, which is an absolute let down after almost half the book knowing this will be the beginning of the Actual Quest. A real strength of this book is the characters. Each of them is so perfectly written and even those we don’t like, we understand. Eva has a strong voice and the author writes her so clearly. I felt her feelings and I saw her surroundings. This book, this book is immense. We are following the story of Eva, from her first memories as a four year starting school and making a best friend, all the way through to adulthood. We see her at her best and her worst, at her highs and lows. This book doesn't pull it's punches.