Sunday, December 4, 2022

Review: Maternity Leave by Julie Halpern


Genre: Chick Lit
Published: September 1, 2015
Pages: 276

Thirty six year old Annie Schwartz-Jensen is a middle school teacher on maternity leave-a time she imagined as uninterrupted, blissful bonding with her baby. Instead she is dealing with her body leaking from every possible orifice, a baby who won't sleep, a husband who still wants to have sex with her (is he nuts??), single friends who are clueless, and a mother who picked now to take a vacation. The only people who REALLY understand Annie are the wonderful people she spends sleepless nights with on QVC: Keep those velveteen table runners and non-jiggle stretch pants coming!

As Annie navigates life with her new baby, she realizes that not all Mommies are created equal. But she is determined to find her way, love her baby, her husband, herself---even if she has to wear nipple protectors for the rest of her child-bearing life.

The next time I let Zach near my nipples, Sam will be studying law in college.

No, I'm making sexy face. I'm leading you into the bedroom seductively. Pretend you can tell. 

I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program. This is my honest review.

Reading Maternity Leave was like reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid but for new moms. I wasn't expecting it to be written in diary format, and I'm still not really sure how I feel about that. It didn't keep me from finishing the book though, so I at least know I didn't hate it. 

There were a lot of elements of Annie's story that I really couldn't relate to as a mother, but most of those things were due to the fact that my husband was in the military and gone for the first four months of our son's life. Pressures that many women face in their relationship with their spouses after having a baby just weren't there for me. 

But there were also a lot of things I could relate to because I was a stay at home mom at that point. I was home with my baby 24/7 too and could really relate to the stress of that, even though it's been about a decade since I've had a baby at this point. It still really resonated with me.

I would definitely recommend this book to new parents who maybe want to feel less alone in their journey. And the diary format is conducive to frequent infant interruptions. 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

JULIE HALPERN is the author of five young adult novels and one picture book for young readers. Maternity Leave is her first novel for adults. Prior to her life as full-time mom and author, Julie was a school librarian. In her imaginary spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching television for grown-ups, and eating baked goods. Julie lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their two children.

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