Dear Great Book Guru, This weekend is the Sea Cliff Civic Association’s Newcomers Party and I am very excited. As a newcomer this year, I am very eager to meet up with people who have moved to the Village over the last year or so, but I am not good at making small talk. I was thinking if I had a good book I could mention, it might make for an easier time. Any thoughts? Nervous Newcomer
Dear Nervous Newcomer, I think it is always a good idea to have a book in mind in any situation and I have a great one for you to quickly read in the next few days: A GOOD MOTHER by Lara Bazelon. This legal thriller opens in 2006 on an American airbase in Germany with a transcript of a frantic call from a woman who is being viciously attacked. Her infant daughter is crying in the background and soon we realize she has killed her assailant. The next entry is three days later in a Los Angeles courtroom and the young mother is awaiting trial for first degree murder. The public defender is a very pregnant attorney with a reputation for unorthodox methods of representing her clients. The rest of the book shifts from the present to the back stories of both the attorney and client. Throughout, we are presented with the question of what makes a good mother. Their families, the public, the court, the press… all weigh in and in the end we too question what makes a good mother. Highly recommended!