“[Finnamore] pauses for some serious reflections, but doesn’t dwell too long on them, which is why the book’s emotional climaxthe baby’s birthhits home with the full force of raw, unrehearsed emotion. Finnamore deserves praise for having brought the emotional roller coaster of new motherhood to life with such dignity and style.”Judith Warner, Washington Post
The Zygote Chronicles
978-0-8021-3981-8 • $12.00 • Paperback • June 2003
A riotous and poignant novel in journal form that takes us from conception to delivery room
Suzanne Finnamore’s universally applauded Otherwise Engaged followed one woman’s whirlwind ride from diamond ring to altar. The Zygote Chronicles is Finnamore’s singular take on the next leg of the journey. Through the voice of a whip-smart, sass-talking everywoman, Zygote reveals the unsettling and uproarious truth about pregnancy and the prospect of motherhood, from wicked cravings to homicidal-rampage-inducing pregnancy guides.
When she finds out she's pregnant with her first child, the narrator of The Zygote Chronicles is closer to forty years old than to twenty-two (the latter, she is informed by a homicidal-rampage-inducing pregnancy guide, being the ideal age to have a baby). What unfolds from her very first wry yet heartfelt memo to her unborn child is like a series of x-rays into a pregnant woman's soul, mind, and appetites. Suddenly she is attuned to everything around and inside her and she doles out observations and words of wisdom to her unborn baby accordingly: how a pregnant woman's body becomes public property; the way everyone on the street fancies himself part of the jury when it comes to choosing a name. She captures the many sensory changes her body goes through with uncanny precision and crackling wit, and ponders why her once storybook marriage to the man she waited for all her life, suddenly undergoes an alchemical transformation every time he eats garlic or onions.
The Zygote Chronicles “deserves real praise for having brought the emotional roller-coaster of new motherhood to life with such dignity and style” (The Washington Post). The strange purgatory of pregnancy has been a fact of life since Eve ate the apple, but never has it been recounted in such brilliant, hilarious detail.