Profound descriptions of motherhood

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I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that expressed motherhood in such a way. As someone who is not a mother, often motherhood is talked about as something foreign that cannot be explained with words. Yet, Elsewhere did an absolutely beautiful job and describing motherhood in a way that was understandable to someone who is not a mother themselves. Motherhood was expressed in all its obsession, pain confusion, and glory. I truly have never read a book with such wonderful descriptions of motherhood. I assume that if I were a mother myself I would feel even closer to the book.

Not only were the descriptions of motherhood wonderful, but all of the writing was too my personal taste. It was somehow both extremely descriptive and brief all at the same time. It gave weight to specific descriptions that deserved them, making the moments all the more beautiful, and held back certain descriptions with a purpose. The writing style reminded me greatly if Blue Ticket, another novel with feminist themes that also specifically focused on how it felt to be a mother versus being a childless woman.

All the write questions were left unanswered. I know some people hate books that don’t wrap up all the loose ends, but I love loose ends. They allow the reader to interpret the book more personally. What happens to the women who disappear? Are they all like Ruth and Iris or is something else happening?

Also (light spoilers), the description of the town and how Vera’s perception of it changed after time away hit so close to home. Anyone form a small town can probably relate. When you return after having been away there is a mix of love, hate, and nostalgia. Nothing is how you remember — it’s muddled and never how you want it to be.

Anyone who loves feminist fiction (like me) should read Elsewhere. Honestly, I’ve never felt more understanding of mothers and motherhood. While I don’t feel any more convinced that motherhood is for me, I do feel more understanding to the mothers of the world.

“I imagine that when I die, if they cut me open and peel back my flesh they will find my bones overgrown with moss and vines, and in the cathedral of my rib cage they will find our town in all its detail…”