Must-Read: Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer
One of the coolest things about blogging, for me, has been the people I’ve met while doing it. We’re a weird bunch- extroverts on the screen, we’re not afraid to spout opinions, have a whinge, make a convincing argument or share deeply personal stories and pics for a variety of reasons.
Does it translate in real life? In my experience, we’re often the most introverted of the extroverts and just need
wine time to loosen up. But it’s so much easier when you meet someone you’ve already connected with online. So many people I’ve met through blogging have become real-life mates; we’ve solved the world’s problems while propping up a bar, had weekends away and are always only a click or two away when we need each other. We’ve held each other (literally and figuratively) through grief, stress, health scares and more.
And now, I have to tell you about Bec.
Rebecca Bowyer: Author Extraordinaire
The first time I met Rebecca Bowyer outside of an online chat, she had flown to Sydney and found time on her trip for a catch up. We’d met through blogging about parenting, feminism and general life stuff. These days, she writes awesome book reviews and I write a bunch of stuff that I rarely have time to publish here, but we’re still mates.
We hit the tea rooms at the QVB (hit the tea rooms, how gangsta!) and talked and talked and ate and talked and… Well, you get the picture.
Not all bloggers have a book in them. We may LOVE to write things, but we like the 600-1000 word mark and then we’re done. To balance out the equation, bloggers like Bec have a heap of stories inside them! And her first one, officially published AS A REAL, ACTUAL, M’FING BOOK today, is not to be left unread, trust me! I was lucky enough to be a beta-reader, meaning I got to read it way before most and offer suggestions and feedback. And really, there wasn’t much of that. I mainly wanted to know when the sequel would be available, ha!
Maternal Instinct by Rebecca Bowyer
Maternal Instinct is set in Australia, in the not too distant future. (Click here to see how she built this fictional future!) In this future, everyone has a role to play. Young women must birth two children as a form of national service, but children are no longer the responsibility of their mother after the first few months. Young men aren’t without fixed responsibilities, either. They have various duties, including looking after the pregnant women, who all live together while they wait for the births of the children they’ll spend a few months caring for.
…A few months?!
You see, babies aren’t entrusted to their biological parents long-term. The months they spend with their mothers are heavily supervised and regulated. Professional child rearing is the way of this future, with babies being handed over to trained Maters and Paters.
Alice, a high-ranking government official, will be faced with a dilemma. She has a 19 year old daughter, Monica. Their relationship is polite and proper. No different to any other mother-daughter relationship where the daughter was raised by professional parents and saw her mother for intermittent visits. Monica must perform her duty to society before she can move on with her life.
The cracks begin to show…
After Alice’s grandchild is born, Alice, through Monica’s experience, begins to see the cracks in the system that she has worked so hard to uphold. As the story progresses, those cracks become fissures in the fabric of society that are so much harder for Alice to ignore. Her own past comes rushing back to meet her and she has to decide what course to take.
On paper, the strict laws around reproduction and raising children work. Maternal instinct is just a remnant emotion that should be quashed. No Australian child wants for anything. But are those laws right?
Where to buy:
If you’re into speculative, dystopian fiction, this is a great read. Grab yourself a copy and let me know what you think!
- Angus & Robertson
- Boomerang Books
- Amazon (paperback & Kindle)