After I read Lying I thought I was like Lauren Slater: attention seeking, addicted to lying, a lover of writing with a flair for the dramatic. This book completely dispelled my soul-sister relationship with Lauren, and though I still love her and especially her writing, I think I’ll stop writing my 10 page fan letter that suggests we meet up.
Love Works like This tracks Slater through her first pregnancy, following her through her most challenging and selfish moments. Lauren Slater suffers from severe chronic depression. She had been on medication for most of her life and decided to continue taking them while pregnant. This leads to feelings of fear and guilt throughout her pregnancy and after her daughter Eva’s birth.
This is a good book. It really is. Lauren Slater is excruciatingly honest especially about her feelings leading up to and after the pregnancy. She admits those horrible things we think in our heads but never say for fear of judgment. She writes in a beautiful, whimsical way, but also an extremely accessible one. That said, there are a couple things I disagreed with.
1) Being a mother does not take away your feminist identity. Giving birth is one of the most amazing biological experiences in the world. A woman can house a fetus, and give birth to something human, something that will have a favorite color, and learn to talk. Honestly as a feminist woman, the ability to give birth is one of the things I most prize about my gender. I am woman, hear me roar and create a living being.
2) I don’t understand Slater’s lack of love for her child until one year later. It doesn’t make biological or emotional sense to me. I could never give birth to a child and only “kind of like it.”
Though I’ve become a bit disenchanted with Ms. Slater, I still believe she is a brave woman and a wonderful writer.