The Nursery

Szilvia Molnar

The Nursery
Oneworld Publications
United Kingdom
4 May 2023

The Nursery

Szilvia Molnar

The walls begin to close in on a new mother during the fragile first few days of parenthood

Somewhere in New York, in a cramped two-bed apartment that wilts beneath the intense August heat, a young woman stays at home with her baby. Women have done this before now: given birth, nursed their children, held, carried, soothed. But our narrator, a talented translator in another life, doesn’t know what it means to be a mother.

This does not feel easy, this does not feel natural. This doesn’t feel like any of the stories she has heard about parenthood. As she struggles to adjust to her role as a mother, a lifeline appears in the form of Peter, a neighbour who, like her, is confined to this apartment building. But soon his visits start to disturb as much as soothe the young woman, leaving her more fragmented than ever.

The Nursery is a searing, empathetic account of those first, heady postpartum days that will speak to anyone who has felt alone, and needed a friendship to pull them out of the dark.

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