Book Review – The Meaning of Children

Book Review – The Meaning of Children


Susan Stewart, the newest recruit to the AngloStore team, has waded straight into the thick of it and offers you this book review:

The Meaning of Children by Beverly Akerman

 

The title of this collection of fourteen short stories is perhaps a bit misleading; children are featured in many of the stories but are not always the focus.

The stories in this book, with one exception,  are glimpses into moments over the lifetime of a woman. From the sometimes painful time of childhood when children know too little and sometimes hear too much, to the  somewhat bitter-sweet phase of life when an old married couple must face a different future than the one they had planned when one partner suddenly takes ill.

Ms Akerman  draws on her background  as a  molecular genetics researcher to explore the subject of paternity in the story that is told from a father’s point of view.

The theme most explored is that of procreation.

There are couples who have fertility problems and there are those for whom conception happens too easily.

Some of the most moving stories deal with the latter and children who know they are unwanted; a mother coping with her grief on giving up her baby for adoption and a woman who decides to have an abortion.

The author also explores the themes of murder and the supernatural.

All in all, quite a variety which is what one looks for in a collection of short stories.
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The Meaning of Children, ISBN 9781550961485, is out now in paperback priced $19.95.

It is available in AngloStore, the Quebec City English bookstore at Place Naviles.

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