The School for Good Mothers
By Jessamine Chan
Why this book?
A fascinating peek at our own potential near-future, this book presents Frida, whose emotionally arid childhood drives her into needy, combustible relationships. When she has a child, someone who needs her even more than vice versa, Frida winds up leaving the little girl alone in the house one day, entombed in an exer-saucer. She either ignores or is unwitting to how the vaguely totalitarian – at least in terms of child-rearing – culture will mete out punishment, which comes in the form of a sentence at a school designed to retrain moms, immersing them in the fires of penitence along with horrifyingly creative object lessons until they emerge reborn as the mothers of a 1950s (forbidden) wet dream. The question of whether Frida does in fact triumph in the end, versus the state, or the patriarchy, could fuel many a book club discussion.
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