There are many things we practice for: a test, an interview, a sports event. In the early and middle part of last century women sometimes practiced being a mother. There were home economic programs at some colleges that offered female students the opportunity to learn about motherhood firsthand. Orphaned babies were loaned to the program for a year or two in order for the student, or practice, mothers to learn about taking care of a real baby. The effect of being raised by, and passed on to, more than one mother is explored in the book The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald. The story begins with Henry's arrival at the practice house. Throughout the book Henry's relationships with others and his own growth and growing self-awareness are explored. In today's world there are many types of families. In The Irresistible Henry House we get a glimpse of a different and unusual kind of family. While the narrative is written in a third person perspective we, more than the other characters in the book, get to see and understand what's going on inside Henry. The fact that there were practice babies in this country adds a measure of realism to this fictional novel.
Jun 11, 2010