Mother Mother: A Novel

Mother Mother: A Novel

by Jessica O'Dwyer


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A married couple in California grapples with race, betrayal, love, and loss when their son comes home from a Guatemalan orphanage.

Contemporary art museum curator Julie Cowan achieves her dream of motherhood through adoption, but her life is far from perfect. Her pathologist husband, Mark, is distracted by his gorgeous, young intern, while her hotshot new museum director boss doubts Julie’s curatorial chops. And Julie’s six-year-old son, Jack (born Juan), may never recover from trauma inflicted by early life spent in a Guatemalan orphanage.

Then Jack suffers a major health crisis, and everything pales next to saving his life. As much as Julie clings to being Jack’s “only” mother, she needs to find his Guatemalan mother to unlock his medical history. Julie hires a professional searcher, and what she learns turns her world upside down. At the same time, Jack’s birth mother, an indigenous Ixil Maya, navigates her own tumultuous path, beginning with surviving a horrific massacre.

In this gripping tale told from alternating perspectives, both mothers must draw on fierce inner strength to reckon with their life choices.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627203159
Publisher: Apprentice House
Publication date: 10/01/2020
Pages: 306
Sales rank: 249,131
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Jessica O'Dwyer is the adoptive mother to two teens born in Guatemala and author of Mamalita: An Adoption Memoir. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Independent Journal, and elsewhere. A former teacher of jazz dance and high school English, Jessica has also worked as a legal proofreader, magazine staffer, and art museum publicist. She earned an MFA in fiction writing from Antioch Los Angeles.

Jessica grew up at the Jersey shore, the daughter of a high school shop teacher and Radio City Music Hall Rockette. She lives in California with her husband, son, and daughter. This is her first novel.

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