Brandy Ferner, you may know her name from the Steele playground, as she used to be a Wash Park mama. Sadly for us, she has since moved to California. Ferner has become a household name, as a comedic podcast host and parenting expert, one of whom, moms everywhere look to for a sense of solidarity. In her hilarious debut novel, “Adult Conversation: A Novel” (May 5, 2020, She Writes Press), Brandy takes readers on a wild journey toward self-rediscovery amidst the absurd expectations and double standards placed on women in motherhood and marriage. With a mix of Ali Wong-style edgy humor and therapeutic insight, Ferner says out loud what others will not as she delivers a fiercely relatable and empowering read that highlights the importance of reclaiming autonomy, the liberating power of female friendship, and the desire to bail on your family and high-tail it to Las Vegas. Growing up, many women are taught to be invested in a very specific version of the “American Dream”: a perfect marriage, a perfect family, a perfect house, with only organic produce. But what happens when mothers continually sacrifice their needs and sanity in pursuit of  perfection?

Our heroine April is a thoughtful yet sarcastic mother of two who tries her best to be a caring, connected mom in a middle-class culture where mothering has become relentless. April rages at modern motherhood’s impossible pressures, her husband’s “dad privilege,” and her kids’ incessant snack requests. She wants to enjoy motherhood, but her idealist vision and lived experience are in constant conflict with one another. Is she broken — or is motherhood? 

Desperate for an answer, she seeks out a therapist, and unexpectedly lands with a woman whose validation and wisdom gives April the clarity to reclaim herself and even start designing clothes again—her pre-motherhood passion. But when the ever-elusive babysitter cancels last-minute, April finds herself back at square one. She seeks guidance from her therapist who is now dealing with her own crumbling marriage—and instead of counseling April, she convinces her to speed off to Las Vegas to help catch her husband cheating. With a little weed, alcohol, and topless pool hopping, plus a male stripper and some much-needed autonomy, the two find lost pieces of themselves that motherhood swallowed up. But neither is prepared for how tested—and tempted—they will be, or for the life-altering choices their journey will force them to make. Who is guiding whom anymore?

This book should come with a warning to moms everywhere, that you won’t be able to put it down. But you better not even for one second feel guilt for taking some much needed space and time to sit with it. This book is a gift to moms everywhere, thank you, Brandy, for seeing each of us without filter or judgment.

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