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It’s the early 1990s, and as a new college student, Agnes is caught between the broken home she leaves behind and the wilderness of campus life. What she needs most is her mother, who has disappeared once and for all, and her brother, who left the family tragically a few years prior. As Agnes tries to find her footing, she writes letters to her mother to conjure a closeness they never. But when she finds out she is pregnant, Agnes begins to contend with what it means to be a mother and, in some ways, what it means to be your own mother. The end of the world as she knows it is also the beginning of a brand new one.


MOTHEREST transforms from a smart...broody meditation on abandonment into an emotionally brimming story of new life and new responsibility. It becomes saturated with hope.
The Wall Street Journal
[MOTHEREST forms] a tableau that is heartbreaking, hilarious, and poignant -- often at the same time. A powerfully perceptive story written with love, realism, and humor and that feels fresh despite the familiar terrain
Kirkus (Starred Review)
Agnes' voice, in her heartrending letters and her funny, sad, dead-true perceptions, propels Iskandrian's brilliant debut about life's continuously shifting, perplexing intimacies.