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A Double Life: Discovering Motherhood (River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize) Paperback – March 1, 2011
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Parenting in a complicated world
Strategies to help you be the best parent you can be. See more
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite my desire to like this book, the author began to lose me as early as page 15. She writes for several pages about how hard it was to want to be pregnant and not achieve it, before eventually revealing that she "tried" for just three months. As someone who tried for much, much longer, I felt it was rather ridiculous and uninformed to expect to be instantly pregnant at age 35, if not insensitive to include in the book her overly dramatic three-month period of "anxious waiting." Still, I kept reading and hoped to reconnect to the author.
That hope was dashed when, starting on page 56, the author writes about planning a dinner party to tell their closest friends of her pregnancy. The menu, for at least 30 guests in her "small apartment" in San Francisco, included homemade tuna and salmon mousses, homemade fresh pate de campagne (which as the author writes is "at least a week-long process"), coq au vin, chocolate roulade with candied oranges, and champagne and bourbon milk punch (among other things). And this at the end of her first trimester, when many of us are so exhausted we struggle to keep up with normal household tasks. Suffice it to say that any possibility that I'd be able to relate in any way to the author vanished as quickly as, I'm sure, her coq au vin did that night.Read more ›
Harper's pregnancy began with conception on the painful day of September 11, 2001. " And so, on the most tragic day we had known, we lit a candle and made love...we made love because we could, because it was one of the few strengths left to us." And thus began an ordinary pregnancy--utterly, supremely ordinary, as most pregnancies are, and also, as all pregnancies are, a seemingly miraculous event. A Double Life takes the reader through a search for understanding of all that it means to be pregnant, including biologically, psychologically, and philosophically. A Double Life also gives a voice to the conflicting feelings that emerge when women face the switch from independent woman and wife to mother. When Harper feels the first labor contractions, for example, her mind goes to two separate places, "I leaned over the fencepost. I watched a fat black knuckle of a bee pollinate the yellow flower of an ice plant. I thought of our honeymoon: the cliffs of the Cinque Terre...I breathed deliberately...I knew it was nothing compared to what was to come."
While A Double Life will no doubt be a popular gift to expectant mothers, it's other value as a gift is to women who already are mothers; they will take pleasure and comfort in recognizing themselves in a story that goes back before recorded time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If soon to marry men ,dreaming of how great married life is going to be with a sweet wife and children would read this book first there would be no more marriages. Read morePublished on June 1, 2011 by mike
I really enjoyed this book and the balance of science with the emotional and physical description of becoming a mother. Read morePublished on April 8, 2011 by lip
I am not a mother, but I am at that age when many of my friends are becoming mothers, as well as fathers. Read morePublished on March 10, 2011 by Nick