“Look How Happy I’m Making You” is a compilation of short stories about pregnancy and early motherhood written by Polly Rosenwaike. “Before the word pregnant came to mean with child, it meant full of meaning,” Rosenwaike wrote.

Each story meditates with beauty and candid honesty on how different women digest that meaning. 

Pregnancy and the early years of parenting are rich subjects for storytellers, but Rosenwaike’s work is different. Her diverse assembly of narratives bravely goes beyond society’s simplification of motherhood as exhausting but rewarding. She includes experiences of postpartum depression, difficulties conceiving and the options when a baby wasn’t in the plan. There are also beautiful stories of hopeful and overjoyed parents. Though each experience is different, they are all told from the woman’s perspective with her attention turned inward to her body, her child and at times, her relationship. There is no outsider passing judgment which allows the book to be sympathetic to many experiences without pushing an agenda.

Abundant with vivid detail, readers are certain to find a story that resonates with their experiences of love or loss. This is a thoughtful read for parents, hopeful parents and anyone thirsting to understand the perspective of others.

“Look How Happy I’m Making You” is set for release March 19.

Jessey Nickells reviews books for the Leavenworth Times.