A New Life
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Pages: 33
Goes Well With: An ice cream cone—just before your world turns upside down

“I was woman-hear me roar." So thought Grace, the narrator of Stephanie Kepke’s short story, A New Life, as her team cheered her on, with the crowning head of her baby waited to be born. If you’ve given birth yourself, the scene might seem all too familiar, from authentic hospital atmosphere to tentative first feeding to the motherly glow that warms each gentle glance at a baby’s face. But motherhood is far more than the pains of childbirth, and the awkward balance of pregnancy is as nothing compared to the struggling unsteadiness between mother, wife, and daughter that comes next. A perfect tale for spouses, lovers, and friends, this story is wonderfully honest, sensual, and sensitive. Written in first person, it provides a perfect reflection of motherhood’s fierce and overwhelming reality in all its joy and misery, taking readers from romance to birth to sleep deprivation to fury—and on to the dawning of romantic urges reborn.

I enjoyed this book for its well-remembered scenes, its honest and relatable characters, and its promise of life after birth. Babies don’t fit into schedules. Babies don’t even allow a mother to fit into other people’s schedules. And the dream that “I could slip from being Henry’s mommy into Zach’s wife so seamlessly” is betrayed each night by ringing phone and screeching monitor before the loving couple even make their way upstairs. How well moms, young and old, will relate—and how much those not-yet-moms and soon-to-be-grandmothers could learn from reading this tale. But leave it on the table after coffee when you’re done. Spouses will want to read as well. And guys might be well advised to follow Zach’s lead!

There’s a pleasingly honest voice in this writing: genuine pain and fear of rejection, heartfelt soul-searching, and a wonderful scene of sensual recovery. Zach and Grace surely have a love that will last, for all those struggling doubts. And readers will have a faith in love and a delight in love’s delights by story’s end.

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