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Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 3, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
First-time author Pols fashions an earnest, endearing memoir about how she hit her late 30s without a mate, but still managed to beat her biological clock. Finding herself pregnant at 39 after picking up a cute 29-year-old named Matt at a Bay Area bar, the author, the youngest of a large Catholic family from Maine, resolved to make a go at single motherhood. A successful film critic, if not exactly rich, she nonetheless figured out (with the help of her devoted circle of friends and family) a plan to live and raise the baby, including residing for a spell in a friend's trailer while pregnant. She barely knows her baby daddy, whom she portrays as sweet, if mostly directionless and unemployed. Her book good-naturedly traces some of the early hurdles of her experience, such as telling the Grinch (her father), finding out the sex of the baby and trying to sneak into a film screening with her infant. Candid and unaffected, Pols provides an important lesson about not being willing to compromise herself, and that being brave can bring the richest rewards. (June)
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"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
"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
"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
"Its 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
"Much as Polss 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
"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
"[Pols writes] with humor and grace. . . . Its rare to find such honesty, even in an account so personal. Grade: A-" -- Entertainment Weekly
"[Pols writes] with humor and grace...Its rare to find such honesty, even in an account so personal. Grade: A-" -- Entertainment 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
Top customer reviews
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But I enjoyed reading the book. It was a fun read.
Pols, a native of Maine, and the youngest of six, tells a compelling story of a woman who enters adult life with a "promise to never cater to a man's ego." She felt strongly that she had "to stand up for my voice as a woman with just as much right to make decisions as a man." Two critical and early male relationships added fuel to the fire. One taught her an important lesson on her "willingness, or lack of it, to compromise in order to be with a man to have a family." She came to realize that she was not capable of that. In the second and more important relationship, her boyfriend split telling her she was not "challenging." After this, she began "to wonder about herself romantically. Was there something wrong with her? Something missing? Something great guys needed in a partner?"
As time passed, no one could understand why she was still single. In her own words, she may have been too needy as she was "susceptible (sexually) to guys who wanted her right away. In male lingo, she was easy. And her bedding criteria was not discerning - she liked "sleeping with beautiful young guys with a big wide ass." Unfortunately, however, Pols had a dilemma in that her mother who "passed on the seeds that would someday become her profession...also passed on the craving for family." She also noted that very few of her friends in her social circle "who were moms were also high achievers in the working world. Conversely, the high achievers she knew were mostly single, childless, and DEPRESSED about it."
So where does all this take the reader? Pols, with great humor and honesty, tells her story from age 39 when, after a one-night stand, gets pregnant. Realizing this may be her only chance to have a child, she plunges ahead. Along the way, through the Odd Couple relationship with the baby's father; the pregnancy and birth of son, Dolan; taking on the responsibility of being a working single parent; and the death of her parents (she includes very poignant stories on the lives and deaths of both parents), Pols learns about her inner self, and becomes less of an "alpha bitch" and develops a sense of compassion. By eliminating demons, Pols begins a transformation making herself more available to family and life. And now wants to leave a legacy of love on this earth as true and as deep as the one her parents left.
Pols is a gifted writer. Her response to my email years ago will no longer serve as a catalyst to buy her second book. Rather, the excellence of this work will be the catalyst.
Most recent customer reviews
Wonderful read, no kidding!