Irene Vilar: Impossible Motherhood

Impossible Motherhood - Irene Vilar

Vilar is obviously very intelligent and has spent a lot of time thinking about and working on herself. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to translate that into a compelling or engaging memoir. She gives us the facts we need to understand the choices she felt compelled to make, but with so much detachment that the reader is left to feel like an outside observer. Even after Vilar has hit rock bottom and finally turned to face her feelings, the book lacks warmth and we have to take her at her (very academic) word that she is now able to bond to people emotionally. And, as other reviewers have pointed out, she doesn't do any analysis until the last chapter, so the structure of the book is 98% <i>what</i> happened followed by three paragraphs on <i>why</i> she lived the way she did.


Vilar's prose is academic and cold, and peppered with intellectual references that shed no additional light on her situation. Perhaps, with a few years more distance from her early life, she will be able to engage with her own fascinating story, and write the memoir that this ought to have been. This version, however, is not recommended.