When a Daughter Becomes a Mother, Can She Learn to Accept Her Own?
In her latest novel, Stretch Marks, author Kimberly Stuart takes an unflinching look at sex, pregnancy, and divorce
by Audra Jennings Monday, September 14, 2009
Mia Rathbun is an earth-conscious, yoga-practicing twenty-something living in Chicago. She’s overworked and underpaid as a social worker, she belongs to PETA, and she recycles the tops of pizza boxes. Her boyfriend, Lars, is a free-spirited freelance writer (read: mooch) who disdains the conventions of marriage but is happy to build a life with Mia. That is until Mia becomes pregnant.
Left on her own, Mia just begins to accustom herself to the looming prospect of single parenthood when her mother, Babs, shows up to “help.” Babs is a cruise ship hostess who cannot abide her daughter’s affection for wheatgrass, tofu, and deep breathing. The two have an estranged relationship but are forced to connect as Mia’s belly grows and Babs is faced with the promise of a grandchild.
Mia also has a whole neighborhood of quirky characters who want to help, including her BFF Frankie, a magenta-haired librarian; Silas, the courtly gentleman of indeterminate age who lives downstairs; and Adam, proprietor of the corner grocery store where Mia shops. But it’s Adam—endearing, kind, possessed of a perfect smile and impeccable Persian manners—who ultimately charms Babs and rescues Mia from more than one mother-induced meltdown. Could it be that Mia and Babs might actually be able to get along?
In an authentic but tender novel about family, grace, and the importance of a good grocer, Stretch Marks doesn’t shy away from hard issues and unlikely hope. “Not for the weak of status-quo-heart, Stretch Marks is a relevant story of a daughter who becomes a mother and, in the process, learns to accept her own,” says Stuart. “I wrote this book because I think the characters will resonate with the not-so-average Christian reader and the more-likely-average non-Christian reader who grapples with the craziness of being a girl and then a mother in an unexpected way.”
Kimberly Stuart holds degrees from St. Olaf College and the University of Iowa. After teaching Spanish and English as a second language in Chicago, Minneapolis, Costa Rica, and eastern Iowa, she took a huge increase in pay to be a full-time mom. She makes her home in Des Moines, Iowa, with her husband and three young children. She is also the author of Act Two: A Novel in Perfect Pitch.
Stretch Marks by Kimberly Stuart
David C Cook/September 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7814-4892-5/softcover/288 pages/$14.99
Audra Jennings is Senior Media Specialist at The B & B Media Group. Since 1987, The B & B Media Group, Inc. has used its broadcasting, marketing and advertising experience to provide the specialized and strategic publicity necessary to achieve the public relations goals of each client. The Barnabas Agency, a division of The B & B Media Group, Inc., is a proven provider of exceptional public relations and personal management services for authors, speakers, ministries and organizations.
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