"Laura Jean Baker has written a beautiful and brave memoir of motherhood and its discontents, which are indistinguishable from its joys. This is a warmly intimate yet intellectually provocative personal document of originality and considerable charm."
--Joyce Carol Oates With the birth of her first child, soon-to-be professor Laura Jean Baker finds herself electrified by oxytocin, the "love hormone"--the first effective antidote to her lifelong depression. Over the next eight years, her "oxy" cravings, and her family, only grow--to the dismay of her husband, Ryan, a freelance public defender. As her reckless baby-making threatens her family's middle-class existence, Baker identifies more and more with Ryan's legal clients, often drug-addled fellow citizens of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Is she any less desperate for her next fix? Baker is in an impossible bind: The same drive that sustains her endangers her family; the cure is also the disease. She explores this all-too-human paradox by threading her story through those of her local counterparts who've run afoul of the law--like Rob McNally, the lovable junkie who keeps resurfacing in Ryan's life. As Baker vividly reports on their alleged crimes--theft, kidnapping, opioid abuse, and even murder--she unerringly conjures tenderness for the accused, yet increasingly questions her own innocence. Baker's ruthless self-interrogation makes this her personal affidavit--her sworn statement, made for public record if not a court of law. With a wrenching ending that compels us to ask whether Baker has fallen from maternal grace, this is an extraordinary addition to the literature of motherhood.
- ISBN-13: 9781615194391
- ISBN-10: 1615194398
- Publisher: Experiment
- Publish Date: April 2018
- Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds
- Page Count: 288