From Publishers Weekly
"Geezers with children," Ladies Home Journal columnist Newman calls herself and her husband, "whose cumulative age exceeds one hundred." Being older may have complicated Newman's attempts to get pregnantit took seven years and plenty of technologybut it also may have relaxed some inhibitions. Other women may joke about fertility treatments ruining their sex lives' spontaneity, but few would describe their husbands gazing at them "with about the same degree of pleasure as Sisyphus looks at a rock"which he immediately denies, making her feel even worse because now "I'm making my husband fake it." After a hilariously nauseous pregnancy, culminating in the birth of twin boys, Newman looks at them and thinks, "I wonder if they'd look less like space aliens if I penciled in their eyebrows." Breastfeeding? She knows it's good for the immune system, but "for that I have the dog. I figure that having a golden retriever lick your head every day must have immune-system-enhancing qualities." Apart from the irreverence, Newman's older mom status allows her to take a more critical perspective on parenting. Watching herself get sucked into anxious observation of her boys' motor skills, she wonders where "this wild obsession with developmental milestones" comes from. She realizes parenting has turned her into a homebody, which is fine, because just "[l]iving, in the sense of breathing and functioning, becomes way more important than having a life." While humorless and/or politically correct readers may bristle at Newman's antics, everyone else will be rolling in the aisles, reading out funny parts to perfect strangers.
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Newman spent seven years and $70,000 trying to get pregnant before conceiving twins at age 40, casting herself and her 66-year-old husband, John, into the category she calls "geezers with children." Newman chronicles the joys and frustrations of late-life first-time parenthood, starting in 1995 with the ordeal of modern techno-conception, a difficult pregnancy, and the birth of twins. John, a retired British opera singer, cool to the idea of starting a family so late in life, continues to maintain a separate apartment, while Newman struggles with a golden retriever, twin boys, and a nanny within 750 square feet of space in Manhattan. Newman recounts 20 months of juggling a career as a freelance writer and primary responsibility for the twins--one robust and bursting off the growth charts, the other scrawny and provoking constant health scares. She is brutally honest--and funny--about the wear and tear of first-time motherhood on middle-aged women as well as the physical and emotional toll on a marriage when one partner is determined to have a family and the other is reluctant. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved