'When Rachel is pregnant with Lola, she imagines motherhood will involve pushing her sleeping infant in a pram through sun-dappled parks, suffused with the purest love she has ever felt. Then she gives birth to a screaming, colicky child in a country far from home.
'Feeling isolated and unsupported, she is plagued with thoughts of hurting her daughter. This is the story of what happens next.
'Lola is angry. Lola is hungry. Lola spits the dummy that Rachel offers up, screams louder. A man in a suit walking past gives her a look. A shut-up-your-baby kind of look.
'"Oh Lola", Rachel says, and grits her teeth to the hard slats of the bench, the painful pull of Lola's mouth. She blinks away the watery world. Above, the currawong starts up again. That eerie, weary echoing song.
'Lola doesn't look up, just works her jaw, her mouth, one hand rested on Rachel's chest. Her fingers are as wide as they will spread, as if to say, you - all of this - everything - mine.
'Limprecht writes a very different portrayal of the person who is so frequently the villain in our culture: the mother who abandons her child. Dark, honest and true, this is an extraordinary novel about parenthood and identity. ' (Publisher's blurb)
How strange it is to squander
This birth I have found by some coincidence.
...I have not granted fearlessness to the frightened
And I have not given happiness to the weak.
All I have given rise to is
The agonies in the mother's womb, and to suffering.
- Shantideva, Bodhisattvacharyavatara
Of all the little ways I've found to hurt myself
Well you might be my favorite one of all.
- Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, 'Tennessee'