The author of the critically admired, award-winning A Replacement Life
turns to a different kind of story—an evocative, nuanced portrait of
marriage and family, a woman reckoning with what she’s given up to make
both work, and the universal question of how we reconcile who we are and
whom the world wants us to be.
Maya Shulman and Alex Rubin met in
1992, when she was a Ukrainian exchange student with “a devil in [her]
head” about becoming a chef instead of a medical worker, and he the
coddled son of Russian immigrants wanting to toe the water of a less
Twenty years later, Maya Rubin is a medical worker in suburban New Jersey, and Alex is his father’s second in the family business. The great dislocation of their lives is their eight-year-old son Max, adopted from two teenagers in Montana. Max, whose biological mother left the child with the cryptic exhortation “don’t let my baby do rodeo,” is at once a salvation and a mystery to his parents. Searching for answers, Maya convinces Alex to embark on a cross-country trip to Montana to track down Max’s birth parents. But it’s Maya who’s illuminated by the journey, her own erstwhile wildness summoned for a reckoning by the unsparing landscape, with seismic consequences for herself and her family.
Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo is a novel about the mystery of inheritance and what exactly it means to belong. Download and start listening now!