‘I was blown away by this book… At once somber and joyful, sly and earnest, nimble and painstaking, perverse and profoundly invigorating.’ Lydia Kiesling, award-winning author of The Golden State
The baby I hold in my arms is a leech, let’s call her Button. Button is crying.
There is a before, and there is an after.
In her cramped New York apartment, a mother wilts beneath the intense August heat, struggling to adapt to her role as the silent interpreter of her newborn baby’s needs. She is not the first woman to give birth, to hold and carry and soothe and cradle. But the walls of her home seem to press ever closer as she balances on the fragile tightrope between maternal instinct and the longing for all she has left behind.
A lifeline emerges in the unexpected form of Peter, her ailing upstairs neighbour, who hushes the baby with his oxygen tank in tow. They are both confined to this oppressive apartment building, and they are both running out of time. Something is soon to crack.
In this mesmerizing portrait of the first days of motherhood, Szilvia Molnar lays bare the strength it takes to redefine who you are, rediscovering the simple pleasures of life along the way.