REVIEWED BY LISA KAY GREISSINGER
In her bestselling Black, White, and Jewish, Walker—daughter of The Color Purple's Alice Walker—explored her life after her parents' divorce; she now uses her sharp intelligence to examine the joyful, terrifying ride to parenthood and the complex roles of mother and child. As Walker, now 37, begins her pregnancy in 2004, she is torn between the desire to be a loving daughter—to a brilliant, difficult woman who has her own ambivalence about motherhood—and the desire to love unconditionally as a mom. Hoping for healing, she e-mails her mother about past hurts. Alice answers that she is "no longer interested in the job" of being her mother; later, according to Rebecca, she cuts her from her will. The pain of that rejection emanates from Baby Love's pages, as does Walker's determination to find a better way. "I consider the fact that I, once terrified of spiders, will now reach into my son's crib to kill one," she writes. "I am struck by the human ability—propensity, even—for regeneration and change." You know she'll do just fine embracing motherhood, in all its sloppy, intimate selflessness and glory.