When Laura June had her first child at 36, a surprising feeling arose: she longed for her late mother, who suffered from alcoholism and with whom she'd had little contact as an adult. June spent most of her life pulling away from her family's difficult home life, only to realize how much it was a part of her. In Now My Heart Is Full, she recounts her childhood, which was fraught with her mother's drinking and reconsiders that relationship as she becomes a parent. June details her experience of her daughter's first weeks and years, including advice and opinions on nursing and sleep training. She also delves into something much deeper about the realities of motherhood, the ways the past unavoidably affects the future and how complicated it can be to love someone who is flawed.
June's writing is intimate and heartfelt, and often casual and friendly. Many of her stories of motherhood are common, so her memoir is both interestingly personal and comfortingly familiar. She explores the hard truths of being a mother and a daughter, showing that each role can be simultaneously joyful, miserable and loving. June saw the world differently as soon as her baby was born, and one realization is especially nuanced and profound: "I had always thought that when people die, our relationships with them stop evolving," she writes. "But I realized then that this wasn't true." --Katy Hershberger, freelance writer and publicist