Brazen dispatches on the life-altering effects of childbirth and motherhood on a woman with a stern “reluctance to be a responsible adult.”
In 2008, actress and author Mollen (I Like You Just the Way I Am: Stories About Me and Some Other People, 2014) discovered her “accidental pregnancy” with her then-boyfriend, actor Jason Biggs. A neurotic tangle of anxiety and insecurities at 28, she writes of contemplating abortion but saw, for the first time, an actual future and a family plan with Biggs, whom she eloped with soon after. Though she miscarried, her second pregnancy was successful. Mollen’s melodramatic misadventures and life lessons in new parenting populate the remainder of this candid exercise in unfiltered adulthood. Whether taking ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle with Chelsea Handler, ghost-proofing a new house, or impulsively venturing to Morocco to meet the weavers behind her pricey Beni Ourain rug, Mollen’s opinionated anecdotes are outspoken, often vulgar, and intermittently entertaining. Her rhetoric is not a cuddly, softhearted tribute to motherhood: recreational drugs played a role in her first pregnancy, and negotiations for threesomes aren’t uncommon during date night. Most of these incidents seem drafted for maximum comical effect, and some strain to achieve it, but there are a few true motherly moments that resonate as “part of an emotional, painful, joyous journey [the author] was finally happy to take.” Once born, did baby Sid really hold the power to vanquish Mollen as the “fun-loving woman-child” she’d considered herself to be? Sure, and she believes that to be a good thing: it was truly time to grow up. Nevertheless, even a life beautifully enriched by a child couldn’t dampen her effortlessly snarky outlook on kids, love, marriage, and Tinder.
An uneven barrage of life stories by turns hilariously candid and self-consciously flippant.