A Mother's Love Analysis

A Mother’s Love (Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Ivy Slovak, the true hero in A MOTHER’S LOVE, has had a rather unusual childhood. Her mother has voluntarily disappeared with Ivy’s younger sister, and both Ivy and her father are totally devastated. Ivy, being only seven, naturally blames herself with many unanswered “what ifs” which her dad cannot possible acknowledge with wisdom. Always searching for mom, it is no great surprise that as Ivy grows up she soon finds herself with a baby boy. Ivy has searing doubts about mothering; she is terribly alone with her fears of becoming just as selfish and bizarre as her mother was. Learning what Matthew, the father, does not want to accept the responsibility of parenthood does not help.

Morris paints the rather painful image of two strong souls who will not give in to each other. Ivy loves and misses Matthew, but until he signs the birth certificate acknowledging the child, she wants nothing to do with him. Matthew, for his part, harbors his own self-doubts and vacillates in his motives.

Living along in New York with an infant in a small apartment is difficult in the best circumstances, but as Ivy learns what love and responsibility can evoke in her soul, she also comes to terms with being a friend, learning and sharing, trusting her infant to others in order to become more fulfilled and creative in her own life.

Mary Morris has developed a beautiful sequential growth development in Ivy’s life. While the hope and need of finding her sister and mother are neither suppressed nor abandoned, the balancing act of raising a healthy child, maintaining an equilibrium among career, survival, and real life slowly take precedence, and a whole, healthy personality emerges as from a cocoon.