by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Open and Shut Adoption

Desperate to have a child, the narrator of The Mothers (Scribner, $26), the third novel by Jennifer Gilmore, is in her late thirties and unable to conceive because of an operation that left serious scar tissue. Jesse Weintraub and her husband, Ramon, have instead turned down the fraught path of open adoption. As Jesse attempts to deal with Byzantine agencies, unpredictable birth mothers and the wild surges of her own heart, she ponders the seemingly simple question: what is a mother?

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