TORN, by Samantha Parent Walravens, is a Hit with Moms Everywhere

From television and radio appearances by editor Samantha Parent Walravens and her 47 contributors to interviews and major book-signing events, TORN: True Stories of  Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood (ISBN: 978-1-60381-097-5, $18.95, 288 pp.) is creating quite a stir, and the momentum shows no sign of letting up. Newspapers such as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have enthusiastically endorsed the book, as have online blogs, review sites, and regional newspapers nationwide. On June 14th, editor Walravens spoke at the Big City Moms event in New York City and continues to jet around the country offering solace and hope for exhausted working and stay-at-home moms everywhere.

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Here are excerpts from some of the many reviews that have come in since the book was released on May 1, 2011:

“[TORN] is filled with the voices of women trying to solve an impossible equation, all doing the best they can. These nearly four dozen writers include a wide swath of the real world – attorneys and professors, software designers and social workers, soldiers and stay-at-home moms. They live on good incomes, and reduced incomes, and, in one case, on welfare. They are married, divorced and single. They are, as a group, far more educated than average, but so, too, I have learned, are Motherlode readers. They write about big things (cancer, depression, regrets, teen pregnancy, readjusting to being a mom after being a soldier in Iraq) and small (worm bins, cupcakes, speeding tickets, Dora the Explorer, dirty diapers.) All of them have one thing in common – they have all compromised. Whether theirs is a compromise they can live with is the central question.” – Lisa Belkin, The New York Times “Motherlode” Columnist

“For those of us who live in a constant state of anxiety about how we’ve compromised our careers for our kids or the other way around, books about the the work/life balance and how other women have dealt with it remain perennially  interesting. [TORN] is a welcome addition to this body of work …. The point that nobody actually has it all is made all the more compelling when it is made by a choir of voices.” – Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times

“Torn presents a smart, funny, and occasionally harrowing compendium of essays that gives voice to the joys but also the frustrations of motherhood – to uglier moments when women feel literally and figuratively torn between conflicting demands of home and work, between motherhood and career.” – Irena Smith,

“A fresh approach to the question we all cry out at least once a day: Is it possible to do it all and still be who I am?” – Sky Sanchez-Fischer, San Francisco Book Review

“If there is one discussion that might be the most common on our UrbanBaby message boards, it could be women struggling to achieve a balance between their work and family life. Mothers are feeling truly torn between their need to nurture and their need to work.Samantha Parent Walraven adds a valuable resource to the conversation with her new book Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood. In the compliation of essays, 47 women share their genuine and varied perspectives on the competing responsibilities of work and family life.” – Erin Sheehan,

“I can’t tell you how grateful I was to pick up Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career, and the Conflict of Modern Motherhood. I devoured the essays in this collection hungrily, seeking comfort from other women who all seem to feel remarkably just as I do, whether they are full-time mommies, juggling a career (part or full time) and motherhood, or (much more rarely) trying to work from home while being a full-time mother as well.” – Jessica Powers,

“How can it be worth it, right? It’s hard to explain until you’re in it. Hard to explain, too, how much the goal of striking a balance for yourself and your families, or simply just having enough to make ends meet these days, can lead women to feel so inadequate and stressed. But Torn comes close, and shows us that when you want to talk about motherhood and work, 47 different voices are probably just the tip of the iceberg.” – Abi Cotler-O’Roarty, HUFFPOST BOOKS

In true stories ranging from the comically unnerving – the overextended working mother who stayed up until after midnight to make the perfect dessert – to the poignant – an Army officer stationed in Iraq agonizing over missing her daughter’s birthday party – Samantha Parent Walravens’ collection captures the complex world of the contemporary mother, whether she is working or staying-at-home.” – Eleanor O’Sullivan, The Two River Times

“Motherhood is a full-time job. Then some mothers take on a full time job on top of that one…. Mothers in this situation find themselves split, and wondering how they can do it all, and Samantha Parent Walravens will ring loudly with these mothers. Torn is an excellent choice for anyone who doesn’t want to feel alone while pulling their hair out trying to fit it all in.” —The Midwest Book Review


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