Cat's Eye

By Margaret Atwood,

Book cover of Cat's Eye

Book description

Elaine Risley, a painter, returns to Toronto to find herself overwhelmed by her past. Memories of childhood - unbearable betrayals and cruelties - surface relentlessly, forcing her to confront the spectre of Cordelia, once her best friend and tormentor, who has haunted her for forty years. 'Not since Graham Greene…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Cat's Eye as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Before reaching middle school, I pretty much believed that my friends—who they were and how many I had—determined my value. But my circle could be fickle; girls were ostracized for minor infractions (you bought the same coat as me!) I lived with daily fear of being dropped.

So Cat’s Eye captivated me with its lack of sentimentality in depicting (some) girls’ friendships. Elaine, a middle-aged artist, returns alone to Toronto, the city where she grew up,  for a retrospective of her work. The trip gives Elaine space to reflect on her life in that city, and Cordelia, her childhood “friend”,…

From Genevieve's list on featuring complex female friendships.

This was the first novel I encountered that captured the long half-life of an adolescent friendship that never leaves you, a first love that was both toxic and transformative.

Atwood allows the ripple effect of Elaine’s friendship with Cordelia to echo throughout her adulthood, her painting career, her marriage. Maybe it stuck with me because I hadn’t realized you could write about the good and the bad in one character and both could be so gripping, or because of the way Atwood captures the moment when another girl’s entire existence is so intoxicatingher family and her home and…

I do love a book that has someone going home to deal with past traumas and this, for me, is one of the best. In Cat’s Eye, Elaine is forced to confront the issues raised by being back in Toronto – namely being the memory of her former friend and subsequent tormentor Cordelia. It’s a devastating look at the relationship between bully and victim. It’s not always a comfortable read – especially if your school years weren’t all plain sailing – but Margaret Atwood writes it beautifully.

Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

Book cover of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

Rebecca Wellington Author Of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I am adopted. For most of my life, I didn’t identify as adopted. I shoved that away because of the shame I felt about being adopted and not truly fitting into my family. But then two things happened: I had my own biological children, the only two people I know to date to whom I am biologically related, and then shortly after my second daughter was born, my older sister, also an adoptee, died of a drug overdose. These sequential births and death put my life on a new trajectory, and I started writing, out of grief, the history of adoption and motherhood in America. 

Rebecca's book list on straight up, real memoirs on motherhood and adoption

What is my book about?

I grew up thinking that being adopted didn’t matter. I was wrong. This book is my journey uncovering the significance and true history of adoption practices in America. Now, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women’s reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, I am uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption.

The history of adoption, reframed through the voices of adoptees like me, and mothers who have been forced to relinquish their babies, blows apart old narratives about adoption, exposing the fallacy that adoption is always good.

In this story, I reckon with the pain and unanswered questions of my own experience and explore broader issues surrounding adoption in the United States, including changing legal policies, sterilization, and compulsory relinquishment programs, forced assimilation of babies of color and Indigenous babies adopted into white families, and other liabilities affecting women, mothers, and children. Now is the moment we must all hear these stories.

Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

What is this book about?

Nearly every person in the United States is affected by adoption. Adoption practices are woven into the fabric of American society and reflect how our nation values human beings, particularly mothers. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women's reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, Rebecca C. Wellington is uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption. Wellington's timely-and deeply researched-account amplifies previously marginalized voices and exposes the social and racial biases embedded in the United States' adoption industry.…


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