While miracles in reproductive technology have brought joy to millions, those very advances have plunged many couples into an unrelenting cycle of hope and heartbreak. One failed attempt may lead to another and another—but how do you give up when there is always another doctor, another procedure holding out the possibility of conception and the child you yearn for? Brooks Hansen vividly captures the emotional turmoil he and his wife, Elizabeth, endured as they tried to concieve, the years their lives were put on hold, and the excruciating sense of loss. He writes too of the couple’s journey through the bewildering world of adoption—a path to parenthood fraught with financial, legal, and emotional risks of its own.
Offering men a chance to be heard and women a rare opportunity to view the struggle with infertility from a male perspective, The Brotherhood of Joseph
brings to life the anger, frustration, humor, heartbreak, and sense of helplessness that come to dominate the husband’s role. As his remarkable account reaches its finale in Siberia, however, Hansen’s once again becomes the story of a husband and a wife who, even after years of medical frustration and fruitless paperwork, still must take one last risk together and trust in their most basic instincts before their new family can be born.
"Literary grace that has the remarkable power to act as a lens" is how the New York Times Book Review has described Hansen’s writing, and that grace has never been more evident than in this remarkable memoir.