Jenna Bush Hager of the Today Show remains on the job with her co-hosts via video call amid the coronavirus crisis. At home with her children – daughters Mila, 7, Poppy, 4, and son Henry ‘Hal,’ 8 months – the mom of three just announced her next pick for Read With Jenna that promises an inspiring distraction from quarantine life.
‘Today’ star’s daughter crashes the set
With many journalists reporting from home during quarantine restrictions, it’s often difficult to block out the occasional walk-on by other residents in the house. Hager recently experienced this when her daughter Mila made a surprise appearance while she was on the air with Kotb.
“When I chose this place, I knew there could be a sneak-er,” Hager said as Mila crept up on the camera, much to the delight of Kotb. “This is not a closed-off location.”
Fans were thrilled with the interruption and took to Twitter to share their enthusiasm. “I love real life! Thanks for sharing,” one fan posted.
“One of my favorite segments ever!” another tweeted. “Thanks for making me feel like a ‘normal mom’ when I’m on zoom and trying to work with 2 kids at home!”
“Absolutely adorable! Love ya Miss Jenna!” one follower cheered. “Your family is so cute!”
May pick for Read With Jenna
Hager just revealed her May selection for her ever-popular book club, Read With Jenna. Picking All Adults Here by Emma Straub, Hager was drawn to the storyline centered around several generations of a family. Opening the plot with family matriarch Astrid Strick seeing someone get hit by a bus, the traumatic event causes past memories of parenting her three children to come to the forefront. Now adults, her kids Elliot, Nikki, and Porter are navigating difficulties in their own lives, while Astrid takes in her granddaughter Cecelia after a troubling incident at school.
Focusing on the complex themes of adult children, aging parents, the implications of birth order, and stages of maturity, “All Adults Here” takes readers on a journey of self-reflection and discovery while delivering material with a fun sense of humor.
“I loved it because I thought, on one hand, it was light and funny,” Hager said, according to Today.com. “On the other, Emma Straub has the capability of writing in a way that explores these themes that are important and interesting.”
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ALL KIDS HERE to announce #readwithjenna book pick from the bubbly, witty @emmastraub. ALL ADULTS HERE is May’s #RWJ choice! Escape into lives (filled with both juicy drama and hilarious insights!) of the Strick family. Busting with witty and poignant observations about the messiness of family, the book is best read by the pool. Or in my case on my couch, with a child on top of me— pretending I was by a pool!)
Hager appreciated Straub’s depiction of family with its multitude of intricacies, both good and bad. “It is sort of, in my opinion, ironic because in many parts the adults in this novel are not acting very much like adults,” the Today star said. “It’s about how families can be messy and complicated and at the same time, centered on love.”
‘All Adults Here’ author hopes to share message of togetherness
Writing each chapter of the novel from the perspective of a different member of the Strick family and a few friends, Straub revealed that the story came from her season of life as “a parent and a child at the same time.”
“It’s not easy to feel like you are the person who is supposed to be a grown-up and supposed to be in charge and still feel like a kid,” Straub told Today.com. “Then also, your parents are continuing to evolve in ways that you don’t feel like you are ready for.”
Hoping to strike a chord with readers by conveying a message of togetherness, Straub sees her most recent novel as a much-needed story of unity during this unprecedented time. “I feel like it’s a good book for this moment because it reminds us what life is like and what’s important, which is connection and community,” the author shared.
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Mila this morning: Mom, it doesn’t seem like Easter this year. Me: Why baby? M: well, we aren’t leaving the house. We don’t get to see Mimi and Bumpy. We are watching church instead of going.” And so we got dressed up and we cooked and prayed around the table, grateful. Thankful for a beautiful world and a God that loves us so much. Then after lunch Mila said, “Mom, this is the best Easter ever….because Hal is here.” And I thought that’s it baby girl—it isn’t about where travel , or parties full of people, it is about the greatest and most simple gifts like their baby brother on his first Easter. We are praying of those who feel alone, lonely. Those who have lost hope. May you find joy and comfort knowing you are loved.
Hager sees Straub’s novel as the ideal choice for readers who need a boost of encouragement. “Even though there are these issues that seem heavy, it ends with hope,” she said. “I think in a time when all we want is hope, it’s a beautiful book to reach for.”
All Adults Here is now on sale.
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