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Crossing the Moon [Kindle Edition]

Paulette Alden
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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  • Length: 304 pages
  • Word Wise: Enabled
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Book Description

"So how was it, I wondered, that I had arrived at this point in my life: almost thirty-nine years old, no child? When I looked back, I could see why, and even when, I took a sharp turn away from motherhood. I could also see why motherhood would catch up with me."

CROSSING THE MOON is Paulette Bates Alden's memoir of the years that followed, when having a child became the most important thing in her life. Raised Southern in the fifties, Alden had turned her back on the "virgin-wife-mother" path before her, and chose a writer's life instead. When with some ambivalence she and her husband embark on a course of infertility treatment, it is a journey with many unexpected returns. This is a wry and poignant tale of the choices that women must make--and learn to live with.

Editorial Reviews Review

Paulette Bates Alden grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, where--for the female of the species--virginity, decorum, and becoming a mother were prized above all else. Bates Alden chose a different route, one that included premarital sex with a campus politico, a Volkswagen camper, and a fiction seminar with Tillie Olsen, who taught her to "stay the course. Sit at your desk, and write." Bates Alden became a writer and eventually married, but "from the very start, I had seen writing and motherhood as mutually exclusive." It wasn't until she turned 39 that the alarm on her biological clock went off. Crossing the Moon is the story of Bates Alden's uncertainty about having children, her struggle with infertility once she decided she wanted them desperately, and how her commitment to a life of writing weaves through it all. "Did I really want to be a mother," Bates Alden asks herself, "or did I really just want to conform to society's expectations for me?" This is a compelling tale about how each choice we make (or that is made for us) necessarily involves a sacrifice as well. "There were so many ways to be a woman, wife, mother, writer," says Bates Alden. "I had had to relinquish some things in order to get others." Bates Alden does come out the other side of these tribulations. We can only hope that we all arrive, like she has, at "a place where what is best is simply what is." --Jane Steinberg

From Publishers Weekly

After a comment by her mother that "people who don't have children are the most selfish people in the world," the 39-year-old author (Feeding the Eagles) and her husband, Jeff, began trying in earnest to have a child. In this often touching memoir, Alden details the medical procedures she underwent after learning that her progesterone level was too low to sustain pregnancy. She also describes how her infertility initially impacted negatively on her self-image and gave her physical problems. The product of a 1950s Southern girlhood, Alden had to overcome cultural expectations that she marry and become a mother immediately after college in order to pursue a career as a writer. Eventually her writing, in addition to support from her husband and other women in the same situation as hers, enabled Alden to end her struggle to become pregnant and to enjoy and appreciate life without motherhood.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 362 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Radiator Press ebook (January 16, 1996)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G5Z406
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read April 23, 1999
By A Customer
I picked this book up because of the topic but it was so much more than an infertility story:it was a great chronicle of one womans growing up.When I was done I felt I had made a new friend and was sad to put the book down.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had no idea! December 27, 2008
I had no idea that some women go through such a protracted, painful process to bear children. Oh, I knew not every one of us conceived at just the "right" time and that some of us had to "work" at becoming pregnant but I had no idea what the emotional toll was on women who had to make a conscious effort to conceive. Ms. Alden has written a novel of her experience in that area and through it all kept her sense of humor and her sense of self. I'm happy for her and proud of her fortitude.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this memoir July 8, 2012
The story describes the author's emergence from proper Southern girl to grown woman, struggling with whether to have children and then the realization that she waited too long to decide. The writing is gorgeous, the story clear and compelling--I will save this so I can read it again, more slowly.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is your baby clock ticking? February 19, 1999
By Voves
Or about to run out of time all together? Then this book is for you...or anyone else who loves suberb memoir writing. We need to keep hearing from Bates Alden on a regular basis. She has important things to tell us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read April 30, 2000
By A Customer
I picked up this book in the bookstore even though I have no problems with infertility. I'd read her collection of stories (which is really great) so it caught my eye. By the end of page one, I could not put it down! This is just a plain old GOOD READ. Alden discusses issues relevant to most people -- infertile or not, considering parenthood or not. In some ways, I am sorry that the book has the subtitle that it does, because (though it centers on Alden's struggles with infertility) it really reads like a great memoir. Alden is clearly a gifted writer. She has this way of drawing you in and not letting you go until the last word.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, deeply moving, poignant book. July 16, 1998
By A Customer
This book interested me because of the subject matter: writing, infertility, and the choices many women writers have made about having (or not having) a family and possibly sacrificing their writing time and space. Alden does a beautiful job. She is amazingly truthful. The book brought me to tears at least once. And, thankfully, she does not find an easy, wrap-it-up solution for such a loaded issue. The book is as much about writing as it is about having children. It's also interesting that a small press was the first one to publish it. Impressive book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice change of pace May 10, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I liked about this book is that the author didn't try to provide an answer, just discussed very openly and honestly her own experiences with infertility and deciding whether to pursue/continue fertility treatment. I liked the fact that she was honest about her ambiguity about having children in the first place. I think it is common for women these days to question whether they need to have a child to be fulfilled and whether it is worth the invasiveness and disruption to a normal life that extensive fertility treatment requires. It was therapeutic for me to read about her experiences and her arrival at a decision. It didn't help me make a decision, but it did help me think through some of the issues. If you have not wrestled with any of these issues, the book may not be as meaningful to you. Unfortunately, I think infertility is something you have to experience to truly understand.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and inspiring September 13, 1998
By Dog721
Being a writer myself of child-bearing age, I was drawn to Alden's book and could not put it down until I had read every single word. She is refreshingly frank and honest about her experiences of infertility and finding her true writer's voice, and should be applauded for making the right decision for her life. I sometimes struggle with the same issues - do I want children? How would they fit into my life as a writer? WOULD they fit in and is it fair to try? Some people believe you can have it all; I'm not one of them. Alden's book is as much about making choices as it is about infertility, and every woman faces these choices at some point in her life. Alden's tale of finding her own way is inspiring and comforting, and I look forward to the next book from this gifted author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a joy to have a female friend aboard
I took this memoir along on a recent transatlantic yacht delivery (I am a professional sailor) and having the book on my kindle proved to be part of my survival kit. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Claudia
4.0 out of 5 stars memovies
Having been through everything except invitro ( which I don't think was available then), I could relate somewhat. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Bobbi Mogelefsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 21 days ago by Skeet
4.0 out of 5 stars roller coaster ride
A great read with joy, heartbreaks, and laughter. I enjoyed the moments where personal reflection and self-evaluation were triggered. Read more
Published 2 months ago by nancy c
5.0 out of 5 stars Very real.
Alden tells the story of a woman growing up in the turbulent decades of the 60's and 70's and how the cultural changes of the time period, particularly the feminist movement,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by M. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written!
I thoroughly enjoyed thus book, remembering my own journey with infertility. I found myself having a child and adopting, but the experience and emotions much like the author's. Ms. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Marlene Koslowsky
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth The Read
In general, I enjoyed this book. There were time I bogged down in her overly detailed pre-marriage sex life. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Maryann Clarke
4.0 out of 5 stars Put me in the right perspective
I enjoy my senior discount now as I did spend all my waking hours in my younger days worried not to get my wife pregnant, this book really awoke me for a woman's perspective. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Yu-Ping Cheng
5.0 out of 5 stars A plus for insightfulness!
I found this book very insightful. Couldn't put it down for long. I needed to know what was happening next.
Published 11 months ago by Rita Collins
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written
I thought this book was well written and a rather intimate journey through infertility. As someone still occasionally thinking that I might want a child someday, I thought this... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Pigglies
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More About the Author

Paulette Alden is the author of UNFORGETTABLE:SHORT STORIES; FEEDING THE EAGLES, a short story collection; and CROSSING THE MOON, a memoir. Her novel, THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION, which Scott Turow called "a wonderful novel," won The Kindle Book Review's 2013 Best Indie Book Award in the suspense category. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ploughshares, Stanford Magazine, the Antioch Review, the Mississippi Review, and others. A former Stegner Fellow, she received her M.A. from Stanford, where she taught as a Jones Lecturer in creative writing. She has taught memoir and fiction writing extensively, at the University of Minnesota, at Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and at the Key West Literary Seminar. Originally from South Carolina, Alden lives in Minneapolis, where she blogs on books and writing and critiques literary manuscripts via her website,

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