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Unwell [Kindle Edition]

Marie Chow
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $9.00 (75%)
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Paperback $11.99  
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Book Description

How do you tell your child that you won’t be there when they grow up? UNWELL is the raw, honest story of a mother who writes to her unborn child, sharing her decision of choosing not to be a mother. She doesn’t choose abortion. Nor does she consider adoption. Instead, she decides to give her child a fighting chance in life, without the angst and drama that’s shaped her own bittersweet life.

With a poignant lack of emotion, the young mother shares her life story. As the child of Asian parents who moved to America early in her life, the mother shares how her life disintegrated after her parents’ divorce. From upper middle class suburban to sharing her mean aunt’s house to a one bedroom apartment in a shabby neighborhood, this mother endures the indignity that comes with the change of status. From her father’s absence to her mother becoming a married man’s mistress, her story reads like a tragic Victorian novel set in the 21st century, but that’s where the similarity ends—she is definitely not a shy country miss and she certainly did not take the easy way out.

This amazing story chronicles the life of a woman who fought for everything she got, faced her demons and made the hard choices. Her fortitude and candor are disarming, her avant-garde views strangely endearing. You’ve never read a book like this and probably never will again. Get your copy today and take the literary journey of a lifetime. Through this glimpse into the life of a woman of integrity, sacrifice and love, you’ll feel her pain, live her failures and cheer for the meager joys that come her way. But the one thing you’ll never do… is forget her. Or her story.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2323 KB
  • Print Length: 279 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #948,834 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By T. Poon
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marie Chow's debut novel draws you into the mind, and then into the life, of a young woman faced with making a formidable decision for her unborn child. When I first met the narrator, she was far from someone with whom I'd typically empathize. But intrigue quickly drew me in, and I lost quite a bit of sleep following the story to completion!

As the story progresses, it reveals a troubled past where a smart, resourceful child is forced to navigate unfortunate circumstances brought about by misfortune, deceit, and cross-cultural mishap. First generation Chinese compatriots will recognize many elements of her experience, most painful and some comforting, skillfully relayed with a measure of poignancy and dark humor--one cannot help but feel some glee at her critical descriptions of snooty relatives. The reader begins to empathize with the girl and understand the person she becomes as she transitions into her adult life.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging portrayal of a complicated Chinese woman January 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a gripping portrayal of a woman trying to explain an unexplainable thing: her decision not to be a mother to her child.
I found the narrator surprisingly sympathetic, and I really enjoyed the tension between her attempt to be honest to her future child, and her desire to justify her choices. She is sometimes painfully honest with herself, about her flaws and the flaws of the people around her. By the end of the book, the narrator's inexplicable decision makes a good deal more sense, even if I could have wished different choices on her.

Among the highlights of the book are the details of the narrator's Chinese background, and a detailed (and sometimes snarky) portrayal of the peculiarities of her family and friends, none of whom are the kind of family I would wish on anyone. The supporting characters are all well-written and extremely engaging, whether that makes you want to punch them or hug them. I was engrossed the whole way through, and found myself drawn into rereading several dozen pages again just now, while trying to look up the narrator's name for this review! I highly recommend it as a moving, engaging character study.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great new writer! January 23, 2014
By Deebo
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A wonderful novel about life, relationships, and the emotional realities of choice and consequence. As the life of the narrator unfolds, her independent personality and inner battles ultimately shape an extremely difficult decision. The author writes with raw emotion about characters that draw you in from the start. She has a rare talent for creating a compelling story, writing in a personal style that places the reader inside the thoughts of the protagonist, expressing her joys and struggles in heart-wrenching honesty. Highly recommend!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful April 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unwell gave me a strong stirring from the moment I began reading. It reads like it comes out of an entirely different time period. To a great extent I felt at times moved and at other times deeply disturbed. Readers have to be ready for a roller coaster of emotions and times where you will sit and question how minor your own troubles seem.

The author, Marie Chow, is a talented and unwavering writer. I've never read something so powerful. The book will hit you like a brick wall yet you won't be able to put it down. Unwell simply can not be categorized. However, it still manages to stand out as a game-changing piece of literary fiction. This body of work successfully integrates powerful social commentary, individual decision-making in high-risk circumstances, and cultural commentary in a masterful way. Take heed, and pause, but do not hesitate to read Unwell by Marie Chow.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unwell - a Well Told Tale February 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
He’s never watched Annie Hall, Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, Little Women, Fried Green Tomatoes or even Titanic. He’d rather have a root canal or rake leaves for 8 hours. Yet this same man accepted an invitation to read Marie Chow’s newly published book - Unwell, a book with a very pregnant woman’s image on the cover, a book that is a letter from that same nameless, pregnant woman to her unborn child, a book about relationships that explores and expresses the kinds of feelings and sentiments that he’d prefer to keep suppressed and not say aloud. It’s a book about soul searching, family, and mother-daughter angst.

The first short chapter is a sign post to the ending. In the second chapter the narrator engages in introspection and some biographical narrative. It’s engaging stuff, yet he’s not sure this book will be his cup of tea. As he continues to read he is drawn deeper and deeper into the woman’s world. He begins to care about her feelings, her disappointments, her goals, her relationships, and yes even her mother. He relishes her successes, share her slices of joy, and begins to hope that he’s mistaken about what he thinks will be the story’s inevitable conclusion , that he’ll be relieved by an unexpected turn of events on the last pages.

Unwell is an intense, incredibly realistic book, narrated in the first person by a woman who shares all of the intimate details of her life with the reader, her highs, her lows, and her ultimate destructive despair. The reader never does learn the woman’s name, a woman with friends, families, and lovers - immersed in a complicated world of events yet feeling detached and alone, a woman who yearns for the quiet darkness of anonymity.

This reviewer thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading Unwell, an exploration of one woman’s soul creatively written with elements of humor, suspense, and controlled drama by Marie Chow.

He might even decide to view Fried Green Tomatoes some day.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing
"Unwell" is a letter from an Asian woman to her unborn child chronicling the events that led her to present day. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Lewis
3.0 out of 5 stars Unwell
The quick brown Fox jumped over the lazy dog. Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many peppers did Peter piper puck. She sells seashells by the sea shore. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Only reason for only 4 stars is that it's too sad a tale to give it 5!
So, I guess I'll just say that this was a hard to put down book, but I guess I'm lucky in that I couldn't relate to it very well. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile read
I found this to be a decent book - between good and great. It's a "letter" from a mother to her unborn child about the decisions she has made and the decision she is about... Read more
Published 5 months ago by lovetoread
4.0 out of 5 stars As Honest As She Can
A sad, engaging story about a Chinese American woman writing a journal to her soon-to-be born child, telling him/her about her childhood, her tangled feelings towards her mother,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gueh Yanting, Claudine
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Powerful
I read this book in a weekend, but it is not a weekend book. If you read to escape real life, this is not the book for you. Read more
Published 7 months ago by L. Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
This book sucked me in from the very beginning. I wish I knew what happened after it ended, but I still very much enjoyed it!
Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth Donlan
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving story !
"Unwell" was hard to put down; I'm more than halfway into the book. In a letter to her unborn child, Marie Chow shares everything about her life from a young child to an... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Eva Ing
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching
I found this to be a very touching,sentimental read. I really had developed deep feelings for the characters. They were very raw and honest.
Published 10 months ago by 1335sj
1.0 out of 5 stars Will not recommend
I read to find a way out of the sadness of life. This was just a walk on the sad side.
Published 11 months ago by Laynie
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More About the Author

Marie is a former teacher, education evaluator, and engineer. A lifelong student, she has degrees in degrees in chemical engineering, teaching, an MFA in writing, and a doctorate in educational leadership. Her writing focuses on bilingual and English-only children's books that feature mixed families, as well as literary and contemporary fiction focused on Asian and Asian American characters.

You can visit her at

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