There is no closer bond than the one between mother and daughter. For some mother-daughter duo’s, there is almost a psychic like understanding that only exists between the two of them.
Jennifer S. Brown explores this relationship, along with a number of other factors in her new novel, Modern Girls.
In New York City in 1935, 19-year-old Dottie Krasinsky wakes up to her crowded, noisy Lower East Side tenement that she shares with her parents and four younger brothers. The daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, Dottie’s future appears to be set. She has just been promoted to the head of her department, her social life is full and she expects to marry her long time boyfriend. Then she gets pregnant and not by her boyfriend.
A lifetime ago, Dottie’s mother Rose was part of the Socialist fervor that swept through Eastern Europe. Put on a boat to America by her father, Rose would soon live the life of an ordinary woman: that of a wife and a mother. In her late 30’s, Rose believes that she is done with bringing children into the world. But she too, is pregnant.
As Rose and Dottie grapple with their pregnancies, the external world is changing and becoming more dangerous. Both women must wrestle with the questions of fate, faith and the choices they must make to survive.
This book is nothing short of mesmerizing. Dottie’s dilemma is one faced by women throughout the ages. What I loved most was the strong relationship between mother and daughter and how it shifted, especially when Dottie’s pregnancy could no longer be hid. If the mark of a remarkable book is that I wanted more, then this book is remarkable.
I absolutely recommend it.