The women who populate Laura Rock Gaughan’s debut collection, Motherish, veer from playful to distraught, reckless to restrained, anchored to unmoored. Gambling grandmas, athletes and organists, pregnant bus passengers and punitive bank tellers are pushed to the brink by Gaughan’s distinctively precise prose, while they grapple with what it means to mother and be mothered. With various perspectives, Gaughan creates box after box—and actual chicken coops—for her characters to explode from, hide in, emerge out of, and ultimately transform.
The stories in Laura Rock Gaughan’s Motherish are full of life. Characters leap off the page, sharing their faults and dreams, their ruinous rage, and illuminating joy. The demands of ordinary tasks are met by the surprise of art and invention. These stories are a delight to read.
—Carrie Snyder, author of Girl Runner and The Juliet Stories
Laura Rock Gaughan’s Motherish turns out to be one hit after another. The entire book cohering around ideas of being a mother and having a mother, and smart enough to know that within this “niche” are a million degrees of experience. Every story is distinct, sparkling in its own particular way.
--Kerry Clare, Pickle Me This
Motherish... showcases [a] collection of thirteen short stories which reveals [Gaughan's] genuine flair for originality, deftly crafted memorable characters, and narrative driven storytelling skills... very highly and especially recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.
--Midwest Book Review
Gaughan's prose is sharp, bright and full of life. Her mothers and their children are a delight.
--Kerry Ryan, Herizons 33.1
Gaughan successfully writes about people different from herself with original and memorable characters that break open the idea of mothering and show the bonds people form when inhabiting each other’s spaces. These emotionally charged stories will make you root for, scream with, and bask in joy along with these characters’ struggles and triumphs.
Mom Egg Review
Turnstone Press Ltd.
206-100 Arthur Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada