An authentic look at the inability to conceive a child and an alternative route to pregnancy.

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BABY STEPS

HAVING THE CHILD I ALWAYS WANTED (JUST NOT AS I EXPECTED)

An honest memoir about infertility and parenting, written with the assistance of veteran co-author Adamson.

At 34, former actress Röhm (Nerissa, 2010) "lusted" to have a child. But this "baby lust," she writes, "didn't come out of nowhere. It arose out of a long and complex history of lusts woven together into a story that became my own.” She had a successful acting career and a steady boyfriend, and it seemed logical to finally heed the demands of her body and begin the baby-making process. Unfortunately, her body had made adjustments of its own and had aged prematurely: "My eggs, at thirty-four, looked more like the eggs of someone who was forty-four." Swallowing her pride and shame, Röhm embarked on the stress-filled and expensive road of in vitro fertilization. She and her partner were lucky, producing a child on the first try. With motherhood came a new awareness of her own childhood and the difficulties her mother had endured to raise her as a single parent. The author gained a new love of life, a sense of spirituality and a drive to tell her story of IVF so that other women would not feel the whirlwind of emotions that she felt before her pregnancy. Röhm openly tells her story of her fertility issues. Thanks to modern science, there are ways to combat aging, but the author encourages women to listen to their bodies; there really is a biological clock ticking inside that does slow and stop. Waiting for the "opportune" time to have a child might not be the most prudent decision.

An authentic look at the inability to conceive a child and an alternative route to pregnancy.

Pub Date: May 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7382-1663-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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