Picks and Pans Review: Good Morning, Merry Sunshine
by Bob Greene
"All of my professional life," writes Greene, "I have specialized in writing stories that attempt to capture the humanity of the people and the events I am covering. Slowly, it occurred to me that I might have the opportunity here to tell the most human story I had ever encountered—the story of a new life, and how that new life affects the lives of the two people who had helped to create it." Greene, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Esquire and a correspondent on ABC's Nightline, tells this story in diary form, sharing his joys, frustrations and, above all, wonder at the birth and first year of his daughter, Amanda Sue. There's the first time he holds her ("I felt like I was trying to balance twenty crystal goblets on my forearms"). There are the sleepless nights ("If only she would settle down for two hours," moans his wife, Susan). There is the development of Amanda Sue's musical taste ("She seems to be partial to The Who and to the theme from $25,000 Pyramid"). By turns funny and touching, the book also includes scenes from a marriage that changes with the arrival of a child, as both parents discover that their world is shrinking, centering on their baby. When news that the vacuum cleaner has broken is met with Greene's total disinterest, his wife, a legal assistant by profession, says plaintively, "I know I'm not the most interesting person in the world these days, but try to understand." Greene, whose columns are not noted for their shortage of cynicism, remains wide-eyed and filled with uncertainty and apprehension at being a new parent. Amanda Sue (who was 2 years old on June 11) and her parents are obviously learning together. (Atheneum, $14.95)
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