The Passion of the Hausfrau: Motherhood, Illuminated, by Nicole Chaison

Nicole Chaison is the creator of the website Blog-o-Hausfrau and the tri-annually published 'zine Hausfrau Muthazine, which launched in 2003. Her experiences—everything from giving birth in a hospital utility closet to discovering that her husband has (in the time it took her to go to the bathroom!) taken their two small children on an inappropriately terrifying ride at Disney World, rendering them too scared to sleep by themselves for months afterward—are the basis for The Passion of the Hausfrau, a comic, graphic-novel-inspired guide to the maternal experience.

The Passion of the Hausfrau is undeniably funny. Chaison's tone is goofy and confessional, enhanced by her lively black-and-white illustrations. She isn't always a sympathetic narrator*, and some of her behavior comes across as remarkably immature for a woman entering her fourth decade. (She sulks for a year over what she considers to be a passive-aggressive present from her mother. And the present wasn't even something juicy, like a weight-loss DVD or a copy of The Surrendered Wife or whatever, but an autobiography written by a successful football player from Chaison's hometown.) Still, she comes across as an enthusiastic and loving mother, and her self-deprecating memoir should resonate with anyone who has experienced the trials, tribulations, and rewards of being a stay-at-home parent.

*Clearly, I would also have a place in the judgmental hell Chaison describes in the chapter entitled "The Inferno: My Descent into the Realm of People Who Need to be Severely Punished". I'd probably end up somewhere near the "Unbelievably Irritating Nosy Bitch from Massachusetts", who snapped at the author for allowing her small daughter to urinate in the surf, rather than dragging her all the way back to the bathrooms. I'm sorry, and I definitely wouldn't have snapped at anybody... but I just don't think I could enjoy swimming after that! I am a delicate flower.

[Review copy provided by the publisher.]
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.