BOOK REVIEW: HUSH LITTLE BABY, JOANNA BARNARD
Digging into the parental guilt that is heaped upon all new parents, HUSH LITTLE BABY is that needling little voice in your head telling you that you're not doing it right, and that someone else could probably do it better. Sally's character alternates between maternal confidence and maternal guilt; we're never quite sure if she is genuinely apathetic, guilty, or simply exhausted. The speed at which her child is taken from her is frightening, and the lack of real support she has shown to her is heartbreaking. This novel does much to illustrate that success is often just a facade, and that family members living in the same household can actually have little clue what the others are going through.
The world truly can come to a stop when a new little person enters the world and for mothers the expectations placed upon them, often by themselves as well as by others, are doomed not to be met. The poking and prodding into Sally's wellbeing is an insidious beast, eroding Sally's self confidence and ability to see clearly. We're truly invested in seeing this family come out the other side. Much to take home from this immersive book where no one trusts anyone else enough to tell the truth.
Married to a man who has been through it all before, Sally isn't always sure that she is doing this parenting thing right and if she's wrong... well someone will be sure to correct her. Living with her extrovert husband and his daughter from his first marriage, Sally truly wants to enjoy this time with baby Oliver but the first year is turning out to be more than she ever thought it could be. There's so much more work, much more worrying to do, and it's definitely more exhausting than anything else Sally has ever experienced.
Trying to anticipate all possible dangers to a baby in a modern home is taxing enough. When Sally wakes up after her night out to be told that baby Oliver has a broken arm, Sally's whole world is turned upside down. Oliver is placed in foster care and Sally is prepared to do anything to get him back. Her husband Richard is not accusing her of hurting him, and oddly neither is her teenage stepdaughter Martha. Shouldn't they all be questioning each other?