Jen­nifer Gilmores newest nov­el, The Moth­ers, is now avail­able. She will be blog­ging here all week for Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and MyJew­ish­Learn­ing.

The Moth­ers is my third nov­el but it’s the first nov­el I’ve writ­ten that tracks so close­ly with my own life. I had to make a leap as a nov­el­ist to write in the first per­son, to exam­ine a sin­gle woman’s inner life, as opposed to the big­ger sweep of the mul­ti-gen­er­a­tional nov­els, Gold­en Coun­try and Some­thing Red, that were writ­ten with an eye toward his­to­ry and the way it affects families. 

This book is all about fam­i­lies real­ly, or about a cou­ple who wants to make one des­per­ate­ly. If my oth­er books deal with what hap­pens to fam­i­lies over time, this char­ac­ter — Jesse Wein­traub — is most con­cerned about time stop­ping. About the sto­ry, as it were, end­ing with her.

I, like Jesse, strug­gled for a long time to make my fam­i­ly (even though I do believe that it’s not just chil­dren that make a fam­i­ly…). And like her, my spouse and I were involved in a ter­ri­bly long and par­tic­u­lar­ly harsh adop­tion process that has only end­ed a few weeks ago. My most pri­vate con­cerns, a sad­ness I could only tell myself, were the same con­cerns I am inter­est­ed in as a writer. These were in part involv­ing what gets passed down through the gen­er­a­tions. The his­to­ry of our fam­i­lies, the voic­es of my grand­par­ents and what they went through. What if it all that stopped with me?

What if all the sto­ries just stopped with me? All those voic­es? At the bot­tom of it, this is what Jesse feels deeply. She wants to see a new gen­er­a­tion grow. She gets a lit­tle despair­ing, she acts a lit­tle wild, but at the bot­tom of it, she wants to pass on all of it, the good, the bad, the painful, the joy­ous, so the cycle will keep going, so everyone’s sto­ry, includ­ing hers, gets told.

Read more about Jen­nifer Gilmore here.

Jen­nifer Gilmore is the author of two nov­els, Gold­en Coun­try, a final­ist for the Nation­al Jew­ish Book Award, and Some­thing Red. Her work has appeared or is forth­com­ing in The Los Ange­les Times, The New York Times, Salon, Self, Vogue, and The Wash­ing­ton Post. She has been a Mac­Dow­ell Colony fel­low and cur­rent­ly teach­es at Prince­ton University.