Sheila Heti’s brave, unflinching novel Motherhood tells the story of one woman’s indecision about having children. The book’s unnamed narrator, a writer approaching the age of 40, is surrounded by friends who are starting families. She lives in Toronto with Miles, her boyfriend, who has a daughter from another relationship. In the midst of this domesticity, she’s plagued by uncertainty about reproducing. She’s honest about her ambivalence but fearful that she’ll one day regret not having kids of her own. Heti combines poignant first-person storytelling with a compassionate consideration of the traditions and implications of motherhood. The novel is a rich meditation on society’s expectations, personal agency and the evolving roles of women. Selected as a best book of 2018 by the New York Times and NPR, this provocative novel is sure to resonate with female readers, regardless of parental status.
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
Enlisted by England’s MI5 at the age of 18, Juliet Armstrong becomes enmeshed in a web of espionage and betrayal that will haunt her for a lifetime in Atkinson’s thrilling World War II novel.
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
When Romy Hall kills her stalker, she gets slapped with two life sentences. The story of her transition to life in a California correctional facility makes for a riveting read in Kushner’s latest novel.
Severance by Ling Ma
In Ma’s haunting, satirical take on the apocalypse, a young Chinese-American woman continues to live and work in Manhattan despite a fever that spreads across the globe and turns victims into zombies.
There There by Tommy Orange
Orange’s impressive debut chronicles the struggles and triumphs of 12 Native American characters in California, offering a complex, compelling look at contemporary Native life.