The Stud Book by Monica Drake was a book that I honestly picked up because the ARC came to us pimped out in a care package from Chuck Palahniuk (Ha! Finally I spelled it right on the first go!). I figured that anything one of my all time faves endorsed would be worth at least checking out.
Mr. Palahniuk was right. This is a really great book that touches on a pretty big nerve in my life and the lives of a lot of young, and not so young, women: Motherhood.
The story centers around the lives of four long-time friends. One is married to a textbook example of metrosexuality and is desperate for a child of her own; despite multiple miscarriages she refuses to consider adoption. Another is a single mother with two daughters; one in college and the other a bored and slightly troubled teenager. The third is a married, freshly-minted mother of an infant girl who is struggling with her identity as she makes the shift from competent, academic she-warrior to sleep-deprived, fumbling mommy-hood. The final character is a bisexual photographer who refuses to tie herself down with marriage or labels.
Monica Drake's style is wonderfully, painfully honest and slightly cynical. She takes a page from her friend Chuck and makes the reader really think by showing the extremes that life can take. I came away from this book with the message that life is what you make it. Family is defined by you, not society; and sometimes we all strive a bit too hard for what we think we should be and forget to just enjoy what we are and who we're with.