Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear | Book Conversation

80s Blocks-3

Quoted from

“One morning, Kim Brooks made a split-second decision to leave her four-year old son in the car while she ran into a store. What happened would consume the next several years of her life and spur her to investigate the broader role America’s culture of fear plays in parenthood. In Small Animals, Brooks asks, Of all the emotions inherent in parenting, is there any more universal or profound than fear? Why have our notions of what it means to be a good parent changed so radically? In what ways do these changes impact the lives of parents, children, and the structure of society at large? And what, in the end, does the rise of fearful parenting tell us about ourselves?”

This week I started listening to Small Animals on Audible and I am now about halfway through. This book came highly recommended from many of my peers and it has not disappointed.  Brooks is a talented writer who not only shares a memoir type style story of her own journey as a mother but also presents a well researched look at modern parenting in America. She shares about the challenges we face today as mothers ourselves and also how this affects the  relationships with have with our children and with one another.

I have found this book to be very relatable and find myself nodding frequently as I listen along. Parenting no longer feels like something we just do in the privacy of our own homes and this idea that the world is watching as we parent can sometimes feel completely debilitating. Between the worries, fears, pressures, expectations, and frequent judgments (from one another and also sometimes from ourselves) it sometimes feels like you can’t win. Brooks is a wonderful narrator and not only is this book really resonating with me but it has also given me a lot to think about in my experience as parent in today’s society.  I look forward to discussing this more when I finish.

Have you read this book? I would love to know your thoughts!



3 thoughts on “Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear | Book Conversation

I so appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts or feedback below! Please email me at to connect further.