Bookish Witch

Can You Feel This by Julie Orringer

Blurb (as on Amazon):

n the chaos of a maternity ward, memories of tragedy and grief come flooding back for an anxious mother-to-be as she struggles to balance her child’s needs with her own healing.

Rushed into an emergency cesarean section, a woman finds herself in the same hospital where her suicidal mother died. She’s buried the trauma of her mother’s last hours—and also the dread that she might be just as vulnerable to breaking. As the new mother relives one crisis in the midst of another, prize-winning author Julie Orringer turns the joyous event of birth into a harrowing, poignant short story.

Julie Orringer’s Can You Feel This? is part of Inheritance, a collection of five stories about secrets, unspoken desires, and dangerous revelations between loved ones. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single setting. By yourself, behind closed doors, or shared with someone you trust.

Genre: Fiction/Motherhood/Parenting

Pages: 28

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 129 INR/$1.99

My rating: 3.4/5

A woman under labor recalls the tough times she had to go through because of her own mother. While lying on the hospital bed, she can’t help but feel nervous about her worthiness as a parent. How does she convince herself that she and her newborn won’t end up the same way as herself and her mother?

What I liked about the book:


-> It shows how hard it is to become a mother after a traumatic life and loss.
-> I loved the very vulnerable and honest emotions of the main character. It was sad but also extremely hopeful at the same time.
-> It is a sweet story of overcoming the past and being better than you thought you’d be. With no proper example to emulate, and frightened you’re not good enough, you embrace your fear and bring new life to the world.
-> The author captured a lot of feelings that come with bringing a baby into the world. Recommend for new moms to know how scary it can be, and also prepare for the unknowns. I liked all of the descriptions used for those first moments the mom shared with her new baby.

What I did not like about the book:


-> The narrative is a bit shabby and hard to follow/read.

Quotable quotes:


-> You don’t say you hate her for all she’s done and hasn’t done. But for a moment you think it. And that’s when she goes.
-> On the FDR there are ten-ton trucks, speeding cabs, out-of-state-weavers. Everything, you understand, will threaten the baby’s life forever. Somehow you have to survive this. There ought to be a sign on top of the car: DRIVING NEWBORN HOME. STAY THE FUCK AWAY.
-> What you want to be is alone, figuring things out. Figuring your baby out.
-> You’d never worn your trauma like a badge. It was something you carried alone.

Check out the book here:

Author’s social media links:

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