That Kind of Mother by Rumaan Alam

That Kind of Mother

From the celebrated author of Rich and Pretty, a novel about the families we fight to build and those we fight to keepLike many first-time mothers, Rebecca Stone finds herself both deeply in love with her newborn son and deeply overwhelmed. Struggling to juggle the demands of motherhood with her own aspirations and feeling utterly alone in the process, she reaches out to the only person at the hospital who offers her any real help—Priscilla ...

Details That Kind of Mother

TitleThat Kind of Mother
Release DateMay 8th, 2018
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary, Novels

Reviews That Kind of Mother

  • Jennifer Blankfein
    Rebecca Stone desperately needs help with her newborn and Pricilla, a black nurse from the hospital comes to her rescue. Through an unexpected turn of events, these two mothers become family. This story is about the challenges of motherhood, race and how family can be created without being blood related, but it is also commentary on selfishness disguised as selflessness, lack of understanding blinded by positivity and hopefulness for the future. ...
  • Naima Coster
    I read THAT KIND OF MOTHER because I was intrigued primarily by the situation the book would examine: an interracial family made by adoption, a relationship between two women across lines of race and class, and the differences between two brothers in society who are equally beloved by their mother. I was curious about the potential for drama here, and I did not expect to find myself so immersed in the mind of just one character in this web of com...
  • Emily
    I'm on a "quiet novels about women's interior live"s kick, apparently. The set-up for this - a white woman adopts her black nanny's son after the nanny dies in childbirth - makes it sound much more issue driven than it is, although Alam does weave insights about race throughout. More than anything, though, this is a coming-of-middle-age story. The writing is lovely, and the details of Rebecca's life, the passing mentions about the news, about her...
  • BooksnFreshair (Poornima Apte)
    If this is any indicator of the reading to come in 2018, we're in for a good year. Brilliant!
  • Joshunda Sanders
    I love this sophomore effort from Rumaan more than Rich and Pretty. The galley features a letter from him that mentions a reality of fiction - we writers borrow from real life but some of it cannot be true. Rumaan has never had a child but here, in his protagonist, Rebecca, we see the truth in how universal the maternal longing for resolution must be and the multitude of conundrums parents face when they are confronted with intraracial adoption. ...
  • Kalen
    **** 1/2 Loved this book though I'm not usually one for books about motherhood. But I was drawn to this one in part because the author, Rumaan Alam, is not a woman and in part because everyone raves about his first book, Rich and Pretty. Most men don't write female characters in convincing, meaningful ways but Alam does. I've got a few small quibbles including the situation with Ian which was never mentioned again and the tension between Cheryl a...
  • Afoma Umesi
    I really oscillated between three and four stars for this one. Rebecca Stone, a white woman in the 80’s bonds with her black nursing coach, Priscilla. The women strike an odd friendship that continues for a few years until Priscilla becomes pregnant and dies in childbirth. Rebecca decides to adopt Priscilla’s son. The story is a slow exploration of the lives of Rebecca, her sons, family and Priscilla’s family for the next decade.This is a v...
  • Michelle
    I went back and forth on my feelings for this book. I liked that it was set in the 90’s and cultural references were weaved throughout the story (minus the blatant Starbucks references). I liked that it was a cast of diverse characters. I liked some of the descriptions of motherhood. I did not particularly care for the main character, Rebecca. I did not find her storyline as a poet believable. I found it hard to reconcile the two main parts of ...
  • Heather Abel
    I loved this book! The writing is fantastic, each sentence its own delight. It's that rare kind of novel that entertains with every scene, while at the same time turning over serious, important issues -- in this case: motherhood, race, class, female ambition, and female friendship. Rebecca and Cheryl are wonderful, complicated characters and I find myself thinking about them -- and their babies and mistakes and desires -- long after I've finished...
  • Paige
    Rebecca thinks she is an optimist. Why wouldn't she be? Things have always turned out fine for her. Turns out that her optimism may just be white privilege.This book seems like it's going to tackle race issues, but it's more of an exploration into one woman's life. Yes, she has a black son, so race is a theme, but it wasn't touched on as heavily as I thought it would be. It was very clear that Rebecca is oblivious to her privilege, and though I f...
  • Sherwestonstec
    I did not really like this book. It is the story of Rebecca Stone, who is white, who has a baby. She hires a nanny named Priscilla, who happens to be black and has a married daughter. Priscilla gets pregnant at the same time her daughter is pregnant. Priscilla dies in childbirth and instead of her daughter taking her baby (her brother) Rebecca decides she will raise the black boy, he is about 3 years younger than her son. This story is told very ...
  • Margo Littell
    Rebecca Stone reels from the birth of her son, Jacob, and feels saved by a nurse named Priscilla who teaches her how to breastfeed. Desperate to keep that security, Rebecca invites Priscilla to be Jacob’s nanny, and the women forge a relationship that Rebecca is certain goes deeper than employer/employee. When Priscilla dies giving birth to her own baby, Andrew, Rebecca decides to adopt the child, wildly optimistic that her own love will transc...
  • Alicia
    2018-05-11 is the kind of book where, the whole time you're reading, a voice in the back of your head is going "wooooow" for the writing, but also is terrified for the characters because everything feels so precarious. The story centers on Rebecca, a new mother in the 1980s, a white woman, who lures a kind and experienced La Leche consultant, Priscilla, away from the hospital to be her new nanny. And later on, Pr...
  • Catherine
    This is a moving, thought-provoking book about motherhood, parenthood, adoption, class, race and most of all the power of love. When Rebecca Stone gives birth to her son Jacob, she finds herself lost in the unknown. Struggling with a newborn, her busy husband, and her aspirations as a poet, she hires Priscilla Johnson to be her nanny. Rebecca comes to rely on Priscilla to teach her how to be a mother while also freeing her to work on her poetry. ...
  • Nora
    I wasn't completely sure how i felt about this book in the end. It was well written and very thought-provoking. However, there didn't seem to be one set theme, it seemed to jump around a lot and there wasn't much excitement. There was barely any conflict and when there was, it ended very abruptly and wasn't spoken of again.I loved Rebecca and Priscilla's relationship so it was quite sad when Priscilla died and left behind Cheryl and Andrew. I fel...
  • Lorri Steinbacher
    I went into this thinking that it would be an "issues" book, but it is far more than that. It is really a character study of a particular woman, a particular mother over time. That this particular mother adopted a child of another race was important and would certainly generate discussion in a book group, but what fascinated me was Rebecca herself, her feelings, her motivations. I won't say that I liked her, because I didn't, not always, but Alam...
  • KC
    Rebecca Stone is a middle class educated poet and working mother who's nanny, Pricilla, dies during childbirth and is desperate to adopt her newborn. Rebecca is white and Pricilla was black. This story moves beyond the boundaries of parenthood, friendship, class, and race. It embodies the entirety of family life; the trials and tribulations, the challenges, and the jubilation. Stunningly and yes, surprisingly, the male author crafted a tale told ...
  • Margaret
    Complex story about motherhood, race, family and relationships. The characters were well-developed and realistic and I feel that he understands women really well. He writes a realistic description of breastfeeding, which I barely understand, and I did it! Not a fast-paced, plot driven book but I connected easily to the characters, who were flawed but endearing.
  • Barbara
    Readable but unconvincing.
  • Mythili
    I'm still making my mind up about this one. Even though there are weighty theme and big questions (what is family? what kinds of debts can never be repaid? which ones should we try to repay anyway? can a black boy and a white boy truly be brothers?) coursing through the novel, there's a fundamental pillowy softness to Rebecca's life that permeates the book itself. Rebecca bakes banana bread, hugs her children, sits in her office thinking about Pr...
  • Shirley Cagle
    This book is about the creation and ties of family. What constitutes a family? In this story, a white family adopts the child of their African-American nanny after she dies in childbirth. The nanny’s adult daughter is pregnant herself, overwhelmed with grief and stress, and allows this to happen. The real story is the evolution of this complicated family post-adoption. A very thought-provoking novel!