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In "Marmee," the name the March sisters use for their mother in Little Women, Alcott has created a complex and whole-hearted figure. Marmee teaches her children—mostly by example—about frugality, faithfulness, and gratitude. Her commitment to the development of her daughters' imaginations is inspiring.

A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
Amy Julia Becker (Bethany House)

After learning that her daughter has Down syndrome, Becker dealt with emotions stemming from her fears and her perfectionism. This is for all mothers, as it explores how having a child reveals our character and engenders new, much-expanded love within us.

Digging to America:
Anne Tyler (Knopf)

In this novel, Tyler gives readers an intimate peek into the domestic lives of two families who adopt daughters from Korea. The families meet at the airport on their daughters' homecomings and forge a lasting and unlikely friendship that encompasses their very different values, cultures, and parental expectations.

The Blue Jay's Dance: A Memoir of Early Motherhood
Louise Erdrich (Harper Perennial)

In striking prose, Erdrich details the complicated thoughts and feelings she encountered upon becoming a mother. She writes about small, ordinary moments of joy and exasperation and about how becoming a mother mystically links us to all mothers.

Mama's Got a Fake I.D.: How to Reveal the Real You Behind All That Mom
Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira (WaterBrook Press)

Most mothers appreciate that raising children is an enormous responsibility. But many lose sight of their identities after welcoming a child into the family. Rivadeneira entreats women to ground their unique gifts, desires, and personalities in Christ.

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September 2012

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