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Accidentally on Purpose: The True Tale of a Happy Single Mother Paperback – May 5, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Sharp, witty and slightly self-deprecating, she alternates clever, camera-ready one-liners with intense self-revelations about parents, children, love and family….” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Ms. Pols is a charming and insightful storyteller, and her memoir is both engrossing and endearing ...” (New York Observer)
“Her writing is mesmerizing and lyrical. I laughed and cried and shook my head at some of her choices, but I rooted for her and her son the whole way.” (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
“Much as Pols’s story resembles the Judd Apatow movie, it is distinct in its heartfelt description of a woman who has come up against the edge of youth and expectation.” (Cookie Magazine)
“It’s funny, intimate, wise, and real, and we get to root for fortysomething Mary, her twentysomething coparent, Matt, and their little son, Dolan, now four.” (Elle)
“Amid joy and heartbreak, Pols grows from a self-absorbed and judgmental whiner into a self-aware adult and loving mother. It’s her transformation that makes this memoir an unforgettable read.” (Diablo Magazine)
“Bay Area film critic Pols chronicles her unexpected pregnancy and journey into not-quite-single motherhood….A page-turner by someone who stopped waiting for Mr. Perfect.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Candid and unaffected, Pols provides an important lesson about not being willing to compromise herself, and that being brave can bring the richest rewards.” (Publishers Weekly)
“… a well-written, emotionally honest memoir of Pols’ journey to motherhood and increased maturity…. She details with wit and humor her efforts to juggle her many challenges…” (BookPage)
“...far transcends its particulars...thoughtful, funny and sexy...a delightful meditation on partnership, desire, fulfillment...” (Peggy Orenstein, bestselling author of Schoolgirls and Waiting for Daisy)
“Astutely witty...will grip you to the very last page. This is a feminist tale for our age.” (Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment)
“... [A] touching, funny, and brutally honest story...[Pols] is opinionated, vulnerable, droll, tenacious, acerbic, loyal...real.” (Kate Moses, author of Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves)
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, it is often funny and definitely a page-turner.
I often found myself being as critical of Mary Pols as she was of her baby's father, Matt. Ms. Pols consistently portrayed Matt as a young man who failed to grow emotionally and accept responsibility. Yet it was Ms. Pols who consciously or unconsciously made the decision to become a single mother ... accidently on purpose.
The story did get a little slow for me when Ms. Pols wrote of her relationship with her parents and their deaths. My interest was in the happy single mother not the unhappy daughter.
There were times I felt Ms. Pols was hesitant to share the details of her relationship with her son as well as the trials and rewards of motherhood. Unlike some of the reviews I have read, I do not believe Ms. Pols is completely forthcoming.
Overall, the book is very well written and mostly engaging. Now I'd like to hear from the single dad, Matt. Has he found the relationship and the situation rewarding? What is your take, Matt? It is your turn.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is Mary Pols' story of becoming a single mother and how she worked out all of the kinks that she encountered along the way. Ms. Pols hooked up one night with a younger man that she had just met at a bar. She had a good time but realized that they were at very different places in their lives -- he was in his late 20s and didn't even have a steady job. They didn't really stay in touch much after the hook-up, until a few weeks later when she discovered that she was pregnant. As a 39 year old woman who knew she wanted a child, she figured this might be her last chance to have one so she decides to keep the baby.
ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is Ms. Pols' first book; however, she is not a stranger to the written word. She has been a film reviewer for many years before deciding to undertake a book writing career. I found ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE to be very readable, and I became caught up in Ms. Pols' life (and her predicament) right from the start. I was very impressed with storytelling abilities and her writing style, but I think I was more impressed with her honesty. There are parts of this story that aren't exactly flattering towards Ms.Read more ›
But I enjoyed reading the book. It was a fun read.
Pols's pregnancy and birth story are the backbone of this book, but equally as important is her large family, which is in flux as each of her parents go on the decline as her pregnancy progresses. Pols weaves in memories of her parents as well as her sense that she is not living up to what they'd expected of her. But what Pols learns again and again is not to underestimate those around her, whether it's her father's acceptance of her unwed and single state (and of Matt as the father of his grandson) as well as Matt's ability to rise up to his role as father.
When Pols finds out Matt had been cheating on her toward the end of her pregnancy, it's one of the rawest parts of the book, one where both people seem "right" as well as "wrong." Pols is understandably angry ("'Was this mercy f---ing?" I asked. "Taking care of the pregnant woman's needs? You felt nothing at all?'") but it's clear that Matt has been upfront with her from the start. Their tumultuous push-pull relationship is a struggle especially once they become parents.
Does this book have a happy ending? Yes, and no.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heartfelt. I laughed, I cried. I rooted for the author, and sometimes wondered what was wrong with Matt. Read morePublished 9 months ago by S. E. Clark
Remembering the sitcom of the same name, I expected sitcom writing. I found a thoughtful, beautiful tale of love, losses, gains and growth. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Terri
SUCH A GOOD BOOK! I loved it! I read it in one day :) I laughed, I cried (and I mean there was one point where I really really cried, Ugly cry for sure.)... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jacki G.
The book and the TV series are disparate - my expectations were set by the series and the book was quite 'down' by comparisonPublished 13 months ago by Karren Hodgkins
For some reason, I enjoyed reading this book. In the first part, it was difficult to like the author, with her immature views of planned single parenthood. Read morePublished 14 months ago by JanRDmom
Since I had my second child, I find myself less sentimental and yet still more emotional as a parent. Read morePublished 21 months ago by B. Proczko
This woman is way to much into herself. I got frustrated with her impatience, criticism, and negativity. Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by Jan R. Whitehouse
It is a fun, nice read for single mothers who are having a hard time accepting circumstamces brought about by pregnancy and being a mother.Published on April 5, 2014 by aevo ortega
I downloaded "Accidentally on Purpose" one lazy Sunday, and I read the entire book in one sitting. Read morePublished on April 2, 2014 by Helen Torres