Announcing Our Best Books of 2021

There is Nothing Like a Motherless Child: Background information when reading Invisible City

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Invisible City

A Rebekah Roberts Novel

by Julia Dahl

Invisible City by Julia Dahl X
Invisible City by Julia Dahl
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2014, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2015, 304 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

There is Nothing Like a Motherless Child

This article relates to Invisible City

Print Review

According to an article in The Washington Times: "In America, the number of single fathers has risen from 600,000 in 1982 to over 2 million in 2011, partially because of mothers leaving their families. In the UK, it is estimated mother (sic) are abandoning their children at a rate of 100,000 annually." Although mostly anecdotal, that figure, according to a survey reported in Psychology Today, is rising at a rate of 12% per year. And The Washington Times' Paul Mountjoy says, "This phenomenon is growing so rapidly that there are support groups for mothers that leave home."

Perhaps this is because women are now in careers and lifestyles that were once in the sole purview of men. And yet there is a stigma attached to mothers who, for one reason or another, relinquish custody of their children. Certainly fathers have been "abandoning" children for millennia with nearly negligible blowback. So long as the law agrees that the tots will be better off with their mothers, these dads get to walk away with little to no scorn. Even deadbeat dads – who fail to provide financial support for their offspring – often get off the hook too easily. That happens because the onus of responsibility for reporting and pursuing them falls upon the already beleaguered mother who may find it more expedient to let it go than jump through all the legal hoops to seek her just dues.

Even in an age when military women are often deployed to far off countries to work and fight alongside their male cohorts, the men/fathers are hailed for serving God, Queen and country while women/mothers are too often judged, and viewed as "abandoning" their children. But, it is noted, the women are leaving their broods for the exact same reasons men have: better employment prospects, military service, divorce, personal goals, to return to school, to be with another partner or failure to bond with their children. None of these reasons are new or exclusive to either gender. But as author Maria Housden put it when she gave up custody of her children in order to devote herself full time to her book, "I did something divorced fathers are expected to do every day. But when a mother does it, it's abandonment."

Regardless of which parent leaves, the children are arguably the ones that suffer most. The impacts of parental abandonment are, and can be, life-altering in both the long and short term. Feelings of shock, confusion and even guilt can hit a child early on and affect long-term life choices. Grief, shame and fear (of attachment) also impact the delicate psyche of abandoned children. These may affect whether the child/adult will be able to trust others or even feel worthy of others' love and trust. All of this can be exacerbated by the way the remaining parent or family copes with the changed family dynamic. In most, if not all instances, family counseling is the recommended method of minimizing long-term negative impact on all involved.

Filed under Society and Politics

Article by Donna Chavez

This "beyond the book article" relates to Invisible City. It originally ran in June 2014 and has been updated for the March 2015 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Mother
    The Book of Mother
    by Violaine Huisman
    Fictionalizing the life of author Violaine Huisman's own mother, this debut novel is split into ...
  • Book Jacket
    People from My Neighborhood
    by Hiromi Kawakami
    People from My Neighborhood is exactly what it sounds like — an unnamed narrator recounts a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Win Me Something
    by Kyle Lucia Wu
    Kyle Lucia Wu's Win Me Something opens with a young woman named Willa explaining that she did not ...
  • Book Jacket: The Island of Missing Trees
    The Island of Missing Trees
    by Elif Shafak
    The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak tells a tale of generational trauma, explores identity ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Beasts of a Little Land
    by Juhea Kim

    An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement.

Who Said...

Life is the garment we continually alter, but which never seems to fit.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Y Can't S T H, G O O T K

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.