Fiction by Christine Lehner
“Today I will know for certain if my life is changed, if the tiles underfoot seem cool simply because of the August heat.” With abbreviated names and unprefaced intimacy, Christine Lehner’s Expecting chronicles the comic, tender, occasionally ominous events between a young woman’s first pregnancy test and the celebration of her baby’s birth. C’s dreams, vivid with images of Central American coups, sea journeys, homes crowded with foreign guests, seem not only to reflect, but also to prophesy. A coup d’etat is in fact attempted by Central American women; C’s grandmother, extravagantly courted by a neighboring widower, consents to accompany him to a tropical island; C’s mother is housebound during a blizzard with a non-English-speaking Central American guest who goes gruesomely snow-mad. Familial concern, superstition, and wonder surround the mother-to-be and her growing baby. But despite all outer turbulence and intrigue, “Baby Milo” floats in her amniotic lake, unperturbed.