Disclosure: I received this book to review through iRead Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
What happens when a forty-something, community college sociology professor learns that her mother―a charming, passive-aggressive, and needy woman who hasn’t had a lover in decades―has started seeing men who want to be bound, whipped, and sexually dominated? What happens when that same mother, shortly after diving into her newly discovered sexuality, develops a cancer that forces her to accept radical changes to her body, and then another that forces her, and everyone around her, to confront her mortality? In Bound, Elizabeth Anne Wood addresses these questions as she chronicles the last eight months of her mother’s life―a period she comes to see, over the course of months, as a maternity leave in reverse: she is carrying her mother as she dies. Throughout their journey, Wood uses her notebook as a shield to keep unruly emotions at bay, often taking comfort in her role as advocate and forgetting to “be the daughter,” as one doctor reminds her to do. Meanwhile, her mother’s penchant for denial and her childlike tendency toward magical thinking lead to moments of humor even as Wood battles the red tape of hospital bureaucracies, the frustration of planning in the midst of an unpredictable illness, and the unintentional inhumanity of a health care system that too often fails to see the person behind the medical chart.
In honor of her mother’s birthday, Dr. Wood has arranged to the price of the e-book to $0.99 for the length of this tour (June 24, 2020 to July 10, 2020).
Buy the Book: Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound
Kew and Willow – Kew and Willow is Dr. Wood’s local indie bookstore. If you put a comment in the order form saying that you want a signed copy, they’ll call the author to come down and sign your book. They also do a lovely wrapping job.
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What to say about Bound? It was different. It was intriguing.
I did find it slightly confusing and hard to follow along as it did tend to bounce between current and past quite often.
Aside from that, the book takes a spin on one’s typical mother daughter relationship.
Being the daughter, I have taken on the parent role with my own parent at times. Being the mother, I also enjoyed knowing that the mother daughter relationship was as open as it was. Something I personally strive for with my own children.
Bound shares the past of Dr. Wood’s mother, her mother’s relationships, her own relationships, the correlations, and Dr. Wood’s role of becoming a care taker to her ailing mother.
I love the psychology and sociology behind the story – the looking into her mother, who she is, her past, her past relationships, her journey into BDSM, the mother daughter roles, the reversal of the roles, how these things impacted Dr. Wood’s life and relationships.
I was slightly worried about the BDSM aspect of the book and how far we would delve into that world or what we would encounter, but I felt that it was not anything that was inappropriate or scarring. It was simple, plain, to the point; more of an educational aspect versus sexual aspect.
Overall, this was a very different book than I am used to; slightly confusing with past and present tense; but a good read that provided another view and insight into a different life than what one considers ‘norm’.
About the Author
Elizabeth Anne Wood is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY. She is also Senior Strategist for Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the nation’s only human rights organization working full time to protect sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. She earned her PhD at Brandeis University in 1999 and has written critically about sexuality and society ever since. Born on an Army base in Kentucky, Wood grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now divides her time between Queens, New York and Jamaica Plain, Boston. She is a devoted fan of Amtrak and an avowed cat person.