Mother’s Day is this weekend, so we here at UPLIT want to share some of our Mother’s Day picks for this weekend. It might be a gift, a conversation starter, or simply a new addition to your own bookshelf.
Oliver of the Levant by Debra Jopson
I’m very lucky to have an incredibly talented Mother who published her first novel last year.
Oliver of the Levant follows Oliver, a 15-year-old Bondi kid, who moves to Beirut with his father as the first rumblings of the Lebanese Civil War are heard. What follows is an exploration of how one boy discovers his limits and his humanity. I might be a little biased (!), but it’s a fantastic read that compels us to empathy and peace.
Read an interview with Debra Jopson in The Sydney Morning Herald
Listen to an interview on RN Books and Arts
After by Nikki Gemmell
An intimate and honest look at grief and family. Written with an overwhelming sense of love and loss, Gemmell shares her story and journey with her mother’s choice to end her life. Mother’s Day means different things to different people. For some of us it can be a challenging time, whether we have lost our mothers, are estranged, or sometimes even had a different, or different relationships, with our mothers. Nikki Gemmell’s new release After (Harper Collins) is a beautiful and bold look at mother-daughter relationships, grief and euthanasia. It is a challenging and important read, both beautifully written and honestly told.
Read Nikki Gemmel’s guest post on the Harper Collins blog
Brown Face, Big Master by Joyce Gladwell
I haven’t read this one yet, but I’m about to purchase it. I’ve lately been enjoying Malcom Gladwell (a Canadian Journalist with the New Yorker) and he has written books about his mother, Joyce Gladwell.
Joyce Gladwell grew up in Jamaica, a ‘brown face’ in a country where black and white were often at opposite ends of the social scale. ‘Big Master’ (in the country dialect she used as a child) is God. First published in 1969, the second edition of this open, forthright story of her life reveals a deep awareness of some of the major social issues and personal problems of our time – race, colour, human relationships, mixed marriage, the search for God. With vivid descriptions of people and her surroundings, she tells of her Jamaican school days and the attitudes and prejudices which influenced her; of her life as a psychology student at London University; of the discrimination against her which came to a head when her proposed marriage to an Englishman was opposed by his family; and of her early problems of adjustment in marriage.
Malcolm Gladwell described the book in a way that I found very intriguing: “Some people write down the stories they’d tell you in person. My mother wrote down the stories she would never tell you in person.”
Read more about Joyce’s unique memoir at Neglected Books
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
My Mum had often talked about the impact this book series had on her and her friends, and the controversy it caused when she was younger. She had described to me the very simple premise: a mother, Corrine Dollanganger, is suddenly widowed and without the resources to continue her extravagant and perfect life. Without any real life skills, she decides to return with her four beautiful children to her wealthy parent’s home. To remain in her father’s good graces she is forced by her mother, the terrifying Olivia Foxworth, to hide the children, Chris, Cathy, Carrie and Corrie, in the attic of their new home, where they remain hidden away for years.
My Mum conveniently left out everything the details and big themes of the series, other than that premise, leaving me to wonderfully over-react during my reading of the gothic novel – my oh my, the tragedy, the torture, the love, the betrayals, the incest, the revenge. Flowers in the Attic, and its sequels and prequels are now a guilty pleasure share by my Mum and I.
Read about the joy of being ‘freaked out’ by Flowers in the Attic in Elle
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