Rating: 5 / 5
Polly Rosenwaike’s Look How Happy I’m Making You is a piercingly honest and realistic collection of fiction short stories about all things motherhood – or lack thereof.
Endless thanks to Doubleday for this free copy!
Each story in Look How Happy I’m Making You stands alone, but they all deal with real issues that women face during their so-called “childbearing years.” They cover everything from the lifelong desire to be a mother to the lifelong desire to definitely not be a mother, miscarriages, abortions, and the ways in which women are expected to carry the burdens of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood on their backs alone.
Please take caution while reading Look How Happy I’m Making You if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Death / dying
- Pregnancy / childbirth
- Miscarriages / abortion
- Mental illness
Wow. Just… wow. I tend not to enjoy short stories because there’s no time for development of characters or a clear meaning, but Look How Happy I’m Making You is absolutely not like that. The characters are developed quickly and vividly and the stories’ meanings are very clear and very poignant.
The topic of motherhood is a controversial one, especially today. Should you have kids? Do you even want to have kids? If not, what’s wrong with you as a woman? If so, should you use drugs during the birth? The choices are endless and yet, society places women into a box with few options – have a baby, vaccinate it or not, definitely breastfeed, be a stay-at-home mother or don’t. Rosenwaike rips that box wide open and discusses the stories of so many women and their choices around motherhood in a way that is at once creative, honest, representative, and sensitive.
I couldn’t love this book more if I tried, and while I’m not thinking about whether or not to start a family, the stories still resonated with me so deeply. This is the female experience – every woman has to ask herself whether she wants kids now or later or never and make plans for that decision. I knew as I was reading the stories that this is a book I would cherish for years, and especially as I begin to answer those important questions and start, or not start, a family.
The stories within Look How Happy I’m Making You are a fantastic reminder that every woman is different, that their decisions and experiences will all be different, and that we need to be okay and supportive of that. This collection of stories is eye-opening, moving, and thought-provoking. I highly recommend it to all women and to anyone who wants to better understand the broader female experience. I think you’ll love it just as much as I do.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Look How Happy I’m Making You. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the collection in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!