Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother #2020

Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother By Beth Ann Fennelly Great with Child Letters to a Young Mother A toddler s mother both an intimate guide and an affectionate coach writes to a pregnant friend about the transforming experience of motherhood These are letters I would have welcomed when I was pre
  • Title: Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother
  • Author: Beth Ann Fennelly
  • ISBN: 9780393061826
  • Page: 253
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother By Beth Ann Fennelly
    Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother By Beth Ann Fennelly A toddler s mother, both an intimate guide and an affectionate coach, writes to a pregnant friend about the transforming experience of motherhood These are letters I would have welcomed when I was pregnant, says Beth Ann Fennelly, as she seeks to go beyond the nuts and bolts or sentimentality of other parenting literature The letters range in tone from serious to sisteA toddler s mother, both an intimate guide and an affectionate coach, writes to a pregnant friend about the transforming experience of motherhood These are letters I would have welcomed when I was pregnant, says Beth Ann Fennelly, as she seeks to go beyond the nuts and bolts or sentimentality of other parenting literature The letters range in tone from serious to sisterly, from light hearted to downright funny Some answer specific questions such as decisions about pain medication others muse about the identity shift a woman encounters when she enters Mommyland or address our responsibility to the natural world Still others explore the magic and mysteries of childbirth, the wonders of language, and the exhilaration also the ambivalence about a baby s first steps to independence Here are modern letters written in an old fashioned way, not as hasty e mails but slowly and filtered through the sensibility of a spirited, fearless poet Though written for a specific person, their themes are universal, inviting all mothers to join the grand circle of giving and receiving advice about children.
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      Beth Ann Fennelly

    About “Beth Ann Fennelly

    • Beth Ann Fennelly

      Beth Ann Fennelly is the author of Tender Hooks Poems and Great with Child Letters to a Young Mother A professor of English at the University of Mississippi, Fennelly lives with her husband and children in Oxford, Mississippi.

    412 thoughts on “Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother

    • What a beautiful, beautiful collection of letters this was Reading it, I couldn t help but think two things 1 We d all be so lucky to have a poet for a friend, one who could pen us the most gorgeous sentences to look forward to in the mail such as these and 2 no one writes eloquent letters like this any, not in this Internet driven, 140 character favoring society we now live in.What I loved most is how the letters between Beth Ann a University of Mississippi English professor and mother of a tod [...]


    • This book is extremely sentimental And I hate sentimentalism, especially about how children are magical to be around I find books that focus on the specialness of being a mother to be trite and cloying, not to mention unrealistic But somehow, this one got through my thorny skeptical shell and was actually charming, heartfelt, and very satisfying to read Especially You are a warrior You are a warrior, and for your whole life your body has been warming up for this great fight These last months hav [...]


    • Beautiful meditation on motherhood as told in letters from one poet to her former student.This is exactly the sort of pregnancy book I ve been looking for as an expectant mother Fennelly gets it, the overwhelming nature of the fear and the dreams, but addresses it from the lovely vantage point of someone on the shore with one toe still dipped in Her writing is so beautiful it made me consider picking up some of her poetry, even though I came to this book for the content rather than the style I l [...]


    • Whew, it s a relief to say this book of letters is amazing Because there were so many ways it could have gone wrong if it were too sappy I perhaps because I m male and am in so many ways disconnected from the emotions of motherhood would have been bored, if it were too trivial by simply relaying how she spent her day each day I would have been reminded of how much I disliked Marianne Moore s book of letters, if were too academic then it wouldn t have felt like a genuine exchange between two actu [...]


    • UPDATE Just reread this for inspiration during my current pregnancy Still really loved it Maybe it s just because I m pregnant, but I LOVED this book The author is a poet, and the book is composed of letters she wrote to a younger friend actually a former student of hers who was pregnant and asked for advice on pregnancy and motherhood Her poetic leanings come through in each letter as she frankly but lyrically writes about so many aspects of expecting and raising a baby I underlined countless p [...]


    • I received this book from a friend, and that feels like the only appropriate way to obtain this book gifted from another woman Now I can t wait to pass it on to the next soon to be mama in my life The letters from the author are equal parts amusing, moving, terrifying, and empowering She offers the perfect balance of practical counsel and wise words of love Countless passages led to me thinking, That was just what I needed to hear The perfect book to read during pregnancy, especially your first. [...]


    • absolutely gorgeous Possibly my favorite mom book Beautiful language paired with an honest, hopeful outlook Tastes of southern influence, sassy womanhood, joyful mothering, and straight up thoughtful writing.


    • I really enjoyed this book as a way to ponder and consider the emotional side of pregnancy, and it read quickly and easily Glad I read it


    • A beautiful collection of letters that speak to pregnancy, motherhood, changing identity, and our hopes and fears on raising children These letters are serious and lighthearted, contemplative and simply funny, nostalgic and hopeful Of course, being written by a poet, these letters are just lovely to read But loveliest of all is the warmth of friendship emanating throughout.


    • This was the book about motherhood I have been looking for my whole pregnancy Thanks so much to Denise for finding and recommending it This book is a series of letters from 2004 from poet and Ole Miss professor Beth Ann Fennelly to her friend and former student Kathleen Kathleen is living in Alaska, far from her Georgia friends and family and is expecting her first child Beth Ann writes not a how to parenting guide or an overtly sentimental treatise on the joys of mothering, but an alternating h [...]


    • With books I practiced escapism, but it is also books that, in the end, led me back to my life While reading can be deeply narcotic, it is also a drug that heals For reading lifts us out of ourselves, and when we re returned, we re empathetic, capacious, wiser I think reading can be a moral act One of my favorite passages from this collection of letters from one friend to another as she prepares to have her first child It really hit its stride in its last 50 pages It s a testament to friendshi [...]


    • I find this book a bit spooky is almost like it was written for me The narrator is a professor grappling with her extremely flexible, highly demanding, self motivated work schedule and raising a toddler Her struggles with finding her professional self, justifying her work time without feeling guilty, trying to appreciate her daughter, trying to be a good parent, and dealing with everyone s perceptions of the above is so eerily similar to my life it freaked me out.On the down side I do not know m [...]


    • I thought that this book was fantastic I received it as a baby shower gift and was pleasantly surprised as I read through the letters The anecdotes were beautiful They really capture the experience that come with mothering a child for the first time the overwhelming love and joy, the newness of exploring everything with them, sometimes partnered with an inevitable guilt or dare I say slight resentment Yes, there are negative emotions involved But everything has its ups and downs The writing is v [...]


    • Had I not already known Fennelly is a poet, I could have ascertained it from the incisiveness of her unique, visually sumptuous metaphors and allusions She wrote this group of letters to a former student of hers, so the tone is affectionately peer to peer, with an added touch of the mentor Fennelly s former student friend is pregnant with her first child Fennelly writes to her like an older sister, having been there done that with her own first child Because these stream of consciousness letters [...]


    • I have a friend who is in the first trimester of her pregnancy I wish I had written her these letters Instead, I ve ordered her Great with Child Fennelly s letters to a former student turned friend contain practical advice, poetic description, and an introspection that teems with the need to be honest with herself and her friend It s so easy to give This is how I did it instruction and that is not at all what this book does Great with Child recognizes that parenthood is not one size fits all nor [...]


    • This book gets a lot stars than I gave it so obviously a lot people like it And there are things in it to like I was excited to read this book because I heard the author, a poet who teaches at the Ole Miss, on NPR s Fresh Air She was funny, warm, and has written some great poetry To bad this person wasn t always present in these letters There are funny and warm moments full of insight about motherhood and you get those when the author relaxes and gets out of her own way But unfortunately a lot [...]


    • This book is nothing but letters from one friend to another There are no chapters, no plots It s just heartfelt words from one young mother to another mother to be as she grows in her pregnancy Even though some letters are just a paragraph of silliness or five pages about a miscarriage, the overall book says so much It s not one you can probably read or want to in one sitting but it s the kind of book you can take several weeks to enjoy, like I did Or share with a friend or give as a gift I like [...]


    • I am at a loss for words to describe how much I loved this book, which I suppose is to be expected after reading something so beautifully written A collection of letters written by a former Knox poetry professor to her former student who is pregnant, the book is the most heartfelt and honest expression of motherhood that I have ever read Admittedly, I don t read enough poetry or even beautiful prose on a regular basis, so that may be part of the reason why I was continually astounded at how incr [...]


    • A solid 4.5 I feel such antipathy toward the cult of saccharine motherhood and pregnancy message boards with their world of acronyms, but I also don t want to hear all the jokey cartoonish stuff about how having kids is a chaotic nightmare lol good luck.This was a really enjoyable look at pregnancy and early parenthood in a way that avoided both cliches It felt very honest and real a warm voiced epistolary version of the academic Of Woman Born Motherhood as Experience and Institution.My favorit [...]


    • This series of letters from a poet and professor who is a mother of a 3 year old to a pregnant former student are sweet Some sadness, hilarity, and just honest truth comes through in the letters, which cover everything from the poignancy of her own child outgrowing phases so quickly to the nitty gritty of the hospital to marital realities before, during, and after a baby I read this book after reading about it on Cup of Jo , who recommends it as an antidote to the horror stories that other women [...]


    • i d give this one 3.5 stars if that were an option, so i m rounding up there were some really beautiful words and interesting topics in this book her writing style was a little too poetic for me she is a poet, so it s to be expected just seemed a little too flowery and pretentious to me at times is one of my favorite parts Women aren t normally encouraged to provide themselves time and resources, especially if doing so requires sacrifices from others But it s a skill we need to practice agreed, [...]


    • This is a great collection of letters containing than parenting pregnancy advice, but life adviceme of my favorite quotes from this bookBe patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongueey are difficult things with which we have been charged almost everything is difficult and everything is serious Rilke, pg 72 great with child From Letters to a young poet Goethe The world is [...]


    • Thank you Kelsey Keyes You wonderful young mother you Kelsey sweetly sent me this book immediately after I told her I was expecting, and it got me through the second part of the first trimester, which hey guys, it s a really emotional time Equal parts highbrow poetics and anecdotes and pulling undigested bits of floss out of your toddler s butt, I careened through the ups and downs of parenthood, spousal love, pregnancy and labor fears, and hmmm just all of that good gushy stuff And a realllly r [...]


    • Amid the plethora of pregnancy books, this is a stand out In letters to a pregnant former student whose own mother had died and who was living in Alaska, far from friends and family , poetry professor Fennelly lovingly commiserates and encourages her friend, describing the joys, frustrations and excitement of being a first time mom Beautifully written, poignant and funny It was given to me when I was pregnant with my first child and was the only pregnancy book I actually read, cover to cover It [...]


    • I can t quite explain how wonderful this book is, but it resonates so deeply for me In a way, I wish I read it earlier, perhaps while pregnant, but it somehow seems that it came to me at just the right moment I feel like Beth Ann was writing to me, directly I can relate to the fears, joy, worries, sorrows, and beautiful memories of pregnancy and motherhood I will treasure these words, and give this book as a gift to friends who become great with child.


    • A quick, mostly pleasant read I was expecting to like it a lot though I was put off by the author s affected old and wise tone she was 33 when she wrote this and by a few cringe worthy overwritten moments Still, there are some beautiful reflections in here, and the calm vibe of the book is a nice change from the how to pregnancy parenting guides.


    • This book was beautiful and such a quick and enjoyable read I loved it will read it again Perfect gift for a new mom probably my go to at baby showers from now on , great for reading in those early days of mother hood when its all so fresh and overwhelmingly beautiful.




    • Ugh Parts of this were and parts were so sanctimonious and ridiculous that I wanted to hurl it across the room along with What To Expect When You re Expecting but that s a whole other story The author reminds me of someone you d be Facebook friends with who would write the most self congratulatory, saccharine posts on motherhood and everything else that flits through their syrupy brain You know the type you are constantly on the verge of un friending them but can t bring yourself to do it becaus [...]


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