Sunday, June 07, 2009

My Review: Old World Daughter, New World Mother

Maria Laurino is the grandaughter of Italian immigrants. She grew up in a traditional family in a New Jersey suburb not exclusively filled with Italians. She saw her mother's life as a housewife and mom and wanted no part of it. She went to college at Georgetown and then became a writer for The Village Voice. She read feminist literature, and in many ways was the woman feminists wanted her to be--and then she had a baby. She started to examine the two opposite viewpoints that had formed her: The American ideal of individual responsibility and self-fulfillment and the Italian emphasis on the good of the family and sacrifice of self to that end.

The vocabulary and writing style of this book is higher than many of the books I read and the author discusses philosophy and feminist studies. She looks at child rearing in America today and how moms balance their needs and the needs of their kids. The conservative in my enjoyed her anecdote about Jeanne Kirkpatrick, UN Secretary under Regan. She mentioned that in Kirkpatrick is excluded from some lists of accomplished women because she didn't hold the same liberal values common to the feminists who assembled the lists. This isn't the sort of breezy or heartwarming book I usually read, but I enjoyed it.

Goodreads has a video of the author, Maria Laurino discussing her book.

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