Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Review: Choice

I just finished reading Choice: True Stories of Birth, Contraception, Infertility, Adoption, Single Parenthood, & Abortion.

I put it on my library queue several months ago, and had forgotten about it by the time I got the email that it was available for me to pick it up.

I loved it.

It was a series of non-fiction essays, from some really interesting and diverse women (Jacquelyn Mitchard, Katie Allison Granju).

The editors explained that they "called for these essays believing that a woman's right to choose must be preserved; we wanted to illustrate the spectrum of possibilities in a woman's reproductive life" (page 13). The essays covered a huge variety of reproductive situations: women who wanted to get pregnant but couldn't, women who didn't want to be pregnant but were, adoption-by-choice (for lack of a better phrase), pregnancy complications, abortion complications, surrogacy, adoption.

I'll admit - even though I am pro-choice, I did have a hard time reading the essays about abortion. ("In my own life, I have had two abortions, which feels like at least one too many", page 70). And yet, even when I had a hard time with those, it made me happy to be a 20-something woman in a time where we do have reproductive choices. While fertility is often not a choice ("three days later, Mama had a miscarriage. She cried on the couch for several days", page 151), we do get to decide where to go from there - a relatively new privilege right.

There were also really happy stories - a lesbian couple that had to jump through a whole list of hoops to have a child, a so-right international adoption ("I met my daughter Flora in the lobby of the Westin Camino Real, the grandest hotel in Guatemala City", page 221).

Overall, I highly recommend this collection of essays. It's very different from anything that I've read before, but it was interesting and enjoyable.

I'm "publishing" this blog post today, because Father's Day is a day that I love to celebrate the choice aspect of families - we may not get to deal the cards, but we get to decide how to play what we're dealt. I love you dad - I'm glad we chose each other.

1 comment:

  1. I will absolutely give the book a looksie, thanks for the review. :)


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