In her hilarious debut novel, ‘Adult Conversation: A Novel‘ (May 5, 2020, She Writes Press), podcast host & parenting expert Brandy Ferner takes readers on a wild journey toward self-rediscovery amidst the absurd expectations & double standards placed on women in motherhood & marriage. With a mix of Ali Wong-style edgy humor & therapeutic insight, Ferner says out loud what others will not as she delivers a fiercely relatable & empowering read that highlights the importance of reclaiming autonomy, the liberating power of female friendship, & the desire to bail on your family & high-tail it to Vegas. Growing up, many women are taught to be invested in a very specific version of the “American Dream”: a perfect marriage, a perfect family, a perfect house, with only organic produce. But what happens when mothers continually sacrifice their needs & sanity in pursuit of perfection?
April is a thoughtful yet sarcastic mother of two who tries her best to be a caring, connected mom in a middle-class culture where motherhood has become relentless. April rages at modern motherhood’s impossible pressures, her husband’s “Dad privilege,” & her kids’ incessant snack requests. She wants to enjoy motherhood, but her idealist vision & lived experience are in constant conflict with one another. Is she broken—or is motherhood?
Desperate for an answer, she seeks out a therapist, & lands with an unexpected woman whose validation & wisdom gives April the clarity to reclaim herself & even start designing clothes—her pre-motherhood passion. But when the ever-elusive babysitter cancels last-minute, April finds herself back at square one. She seeks guidance, but her therapist is now dealing with her own crumbling marriage—& instead of counseling April, she convinces her to speed off to Las Vegas with her to help catch her husband cheating. With a little weed, alcohol, & topless pool hopping, plus a male stripper & some much-needed autonomy, the two find lost pieces of themselves that motherhood swallowed up. But neither one is prepared for how tested—& tempted—they will be, or for the life-altering choices their journey will force them to make. Who is guiding whom anymore?
‘Adult Conversation’ is a laugh-outloud, hilarious, & fairly accurate depiction of motherhood in general. It’s relatable, authentic, honest & poignant, & with the struggles I have been having during 2 mos of isolation & homeschooling two autistic, teenage boys (who act like 7 yr olds most of the time) & my complete lack of ‘me time’ & mental self-care, this was just the bookish therapy I needed! I loved April’s witty (& often inappropriate) sarcasm, which is totally my style with people who know me well.
This book comes out next week on May 5th & would make an excellent Mother’s Day gift for the bookish mom that has a sense of humor in your life (or for yourself)! Look for it locally or order it via an indie bookstore using BookStoreLink website. Just type in your book title, your city/state, & it shows you all the indie bookstores & their info. Let’s do our readerly part & help the indie book sellers. They really need us right now!
Brandy Ferner is a mother, wife, & the creator of the Adult Conversation podcast, social media pages, & blog. Her writing has been featured in Good Morning America, HuffPost, Romper, CafeMom, TODAY Parents, & more. In addition to writing & fulfilling her kids’ endless snack requests, she spent the past decade working as a doula, childbirth educator, & birth trauma mentor, ushering clients through the intense transition into motherhood. The insight gained from watching moms crack wide open — literally & figuratively — & her own experience as an independent woman who suddenly traded autonomy for snuggles, led her to say out loud the things that modern mothers are thinking. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes it’s comedic, but it’s always honest. She currently lives in Southern California, & her love language is sleep.
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