Review: Memoir sums up life as a new mom
“Now My Heart Is Full: a Memoir” (Penguin Books), by Laura June
Having a child, most parents will say, is a profound experience. It’s so profound that many writers have built careers chronicling this transition and phase of life.
One such book is Laura June’s debut memoir, “Now My Heart is Full.” It sums up her life as a new mom to baby Zelda and how this mother-daughter relationship was influenced by June’s own mother, who suffered from alcoholism.
Despite the death of June’s mother, their relationship continues to evolve. June was angry, and rightfully so. She made multiple pleas for her mother to get help battling alcoholism. But June’s attempts were futile, and her mom died of complications from long-term alcohol use before Zelda’s birth.
The crux of the book is about June losing her mom and being a mom, and how these two identities fit together, side by side.
Any motherless mother will attest to the struggle and sadness of not having a primary model — a mom — around for emotional support.
“I had always thought that when people die, our relationships with them stop evolving,” June writes. “But I realized then that this wasn’t true.”
As often happens, once a person becomes a parent, that person sees his or her own parents in a truer, more realistic light. This happened to June; becoming a mom softened some of hard opinions of her mother. She became more empathetic. She transformed the tragedy of losing her mother into personal growth.
On wanting her mother after Zelda’s birth, June writes, “becoming a mother had reduced me to a child instantly.”
June writes eloquently and provides thoughtful insight on issues new parents face, but you don’t have to be a parent to find meaning in this book.