Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words

You don't need to be a mother (or foulmouthed) to enjoy Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words. A self-described "Real Piece of Work," freelance creative director Kimberly Harrington lets her yearning, indignation, exhaustion and attitude fly in pieces that span far beyond motherhood.

Harrington has a caustic, intelligent wit, and her humor pieces, generally laced with biting sarcasm or satire, are exceedingly entertaining. Yet her talent shines most when that wit merely eases the sting of deeper candor about challenging subjects--grief, divorce, the desire to be seen--particularly when jarringly juxtaposed with a comic listicle.

Harrington evokes a swaggering hell yes! vibe with her take on "If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy"--"If Mama ain't yelling and instead is very, very singsongy, ain't nobody getting out of this one alive"--then pulls the emotional rug out with the devastation of a first-pregnancy miscarriage in "Tiny Losses." "What we finally saw, as she held the wand still, was a small gray jelly bean resting on its side at the bottom of my uterus, like a stone in an empty bucket."

The collection varies widely in form and substance, grounded by Harrington's insight and sincerity. Pinpoint observations communicate an intimacy that compels appreciation regardless of personal experience with the subject matter. One does not have to be a mother to enjoy Harrington's work. If the promise of swear words isn't enough, come for the humanity. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review

Powered by: Xtenit