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In Her Own Sweet Time


An accessible, insightful look at today’s modern families.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
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A journalist and single mom updates her memoir/social sciences book about emerging routes to parenthood.

In 2009, Lehmann-Haupt (DIY Mom, 2014, etc.) published the first edition of this work. It intertwined her first-person memoir about being a 30-something, world-traveling journalist, wondering whether she should have a child on her own, with research and interviews regarding such techniques as egg and embryo freezing. At the end of the previous edition, the author, after several disappointing romantic breakups, decided to freeze her eggs, noting, “We have more options than ever; understanding them can empower us and, perhaps most important, turn panic into peace.” In this latest edition, she adds footnotes to her previous research, including new findings that showcase how egg-freezing and related technologies have risen in popularity. She also shares the latest news from her own life, including a move from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area and, most significantly, her decision to have a son, Alexander, at age 40, by using her frozen eggs and an anonymous but highly vetted sperm donor. Now in her mid-40s, Lehmann-Haupt is hopeful that “my husband and Alexander’s adoptive father is out there,” and she marvels at how she and other people she’s met are “on the edge of where families are evolving, consciously and creatively.” In this new edition, she gracefully combines a revealing, engaging memoir with admirably nuanced social commentary. Although she celebrates the joys of being a “DIY mom,” she also depicts its consequences and challenges, such as the idea that a sperm donor may later have contact with his myriad offspring. Readers who are interested in exploring alternative routes to parenthood will, of course, have to do further research beyond this book. But Lehmann-Haupt tees up the topic quite nicely here, in a personable, relatable voice. Her fine-tuned prose is a particular strength, as when she grieves her grandmother’s death while in the arms of a less-than-ideal boyfriend: “as he holds me I feel the generations shift.”

An accessible, insightful look at today’s modern families.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9963074-5-1

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Nothing But The Truth Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2016


If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998


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

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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