Glamorous Candace Calloway is running for governor of Massachusetts, and while men love her — in every way –she can’t seem to win over women voters. Then her campaign manager spots a news story about Lauren Bruce, who had a wardrobe malfunction while nursing her baby in public. Now, Candace is championing Lauren’s cause, helped by the breastfeeding activists who call themselves the BOOBs. Her opponent has aligned with the newly formed Mothers on Modesty (MOMs). And Lauren is caught in the middle, trying to navigate the world of campaigns as she also deals with breast pumps, talk show hosts, perfect-mommy friends, and post-baby sex. MILKSHAKE is a satiric novel about the absurdities of motherhood, breastfeeding, and politics.
I think I might have picked up Milkshake as a free book on Amazon, after I heard about it from Linda Gillard, via her Facebook page, where she sometimes tells people about the other authors in the League of Extraordinary Authors. Anyway, how I found the books isn’t really relevant, but what I thought of the book when I got around to reading it is.
I mostly read on the bus to & from work & this book was another example of me sitting there chuckling to myself, while I am sure my fellow passengers were wondering what was so funny.
Milkshake is about Lauren Bruce, a new mom who is kind of lost. Lost in her new role, feeling like she has lost herself, her identity & is not entirely sure she’s up to the task of being a mom & making all of the right decisions for her baby. Then Lauren heads to the museum with her friend Mia, who is a bit of a militant on all things “Mom” & “Baby” – Mia has all the right answers, or so it seems to Lauren. While at the museum Lauren sits down (at Mia’s instance), in the middle of one of the exhibits & starts to breastfeed her daughter. Then everything goes very wrong & before she knows it, Lauren is the latest cause célèbre & involved in a tug-of-war between the pro breastfeeding (The BOOBS) camp & the pro-choice/pro-bottle (The MOMS) camp, a pawn stuck in the middle in the Gubernatorial race.
Milkshake is a funny look at what is a very emotive issue – a woman’s right to breastfeed her baby in public, without having to worry about being hassled by the “decency” police, but it is also a look at a woman’s right to make a choice – the best choice for her & for her baby – and not be vilified by the other camp for the choice she has made, or has had to make.
I am not a mother myself, so have never had to make these kinds of choices, but Milkshake still really appealed to me. I loved the characters, Lauren, Mia, the Senator & the Senator’s campagne manager were all likeable & funny in equal measures. Lauren manages to get herself into some very funny & tricky situations (love the breast pump!) & just when things are spiraling out of control Lauren manages to redeem herself & her dignity.
From what I have read Milkshake was the debut novel for Ms Weiss – and a very good one it is!