- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Rodale International Ltd (June 3, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1405077611
- ISBN-13: 978-1405077613
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,816,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Beyond Childlessness Paperback – June 3, 2005
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About the Author
Rachel Black runs her own market research business, and Louise Scull, having been a senior financial services executive, is currently taking full advantage of a sabbatical. Both are trained counsellors, and both are childless.
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The authors are two women -- one single, one married to a man who forbid a family without making his preferences clear before marriage -- who sought out and interviewed other women in their situation, and let them tell their stories themselves.
This book is head and shoulders above any other "fix the problem" or memoir anthologies on childlessness, because it ventures where others dare not go. Well-meaning books like the husband and wife-authored "Sweet Grapes" sugarcoat some of the ugly truths.
Other books say "it's no use going over whose fault it is." Actually, there is some good in identifying whose actions and attitudes were responsible for a family of two. One of the authors, Rachel Black, has worked out with her husband that when she/they are faced with the ubiquitious and painful question, "Do you have children/why not?" She says "My husband didn't want them." Childless women are often branded selfish; it was his decision, let him bear the social approbation. She also made him get a vasectomy, so he wouldn't reproduce with someone else, should their marriage fall apart under the strain he unilaterally imposed.
Other books offer a formula for "getting over it." This book wisely offers no one-size-fits-all formula, but rather a diverse and well-edited selection of personal stories.
The authors show what an arduous and punishing route adoption can be, and expose the myth that "Anyone can adopt." One interviewee commented on the British government's stress on keeping adoptive children in touch with their biological families. "If they're that keen to keep in touch, why are they not looking after the child themselves? This constant having to keep in touch, we couldn't actually break free and be our own family, and have a proper, intimate family life, there were always going to be people looking over your shoulder, who you're answerable to."
This is essential reading for anyone dealing with this issue.