Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir by Alice Eve Cohen (Book Review)

Title: What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir
Author: Alice Eve Cohen
Publisher: Penguin

About the book: At age forty-four, Alice Eve Cohen was happy for the first time in years.  After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to an inspiring man, she was joyfully raising her adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming.  Then she started experiencing mysterious symptoms.  After years of hormone replacement therapy and months of tests and X-rays, she was diagnosed with an abdominal tumor and rushed in for an emergency CAT scan that revealed the cause of her symptoms -- she was six months pregnant.

That was the first of many shocks in a pregnancy riddled with complications that threatened the lives of both mother and baby.  In her third trimester, with no prenatal care and no insurance coverage for high-risk pregnancy, Cohen was inundated by friends and doctors telling her what was ethical, what was loving, what was right. (from Penguin Books press release)

My thoughts: I am 44 years old myself, with an 18, 16 and 6 year old.  I was 38 1/2 when my son was born and have a chronic health condition which put me in the high risk category.  However, that being said, my situation seems miniscule compared to what Ms. Cohen went through. After accepting the fact that you were infertile, not using birth control for 14 years, then thinking you have cancer only to find out you are six months pregnant!  Wow!  Ms. Cohen shares her story with an openness and honesty that was surprising.  At the same time, the humor comes through.  She is able to write about the worst parts of her experience with a dark sarcasm that had me feeling a sense of shock one minute and smiling the next. I especially enjoyed the lists that pop up at the end of some of the chapters about "What I Know".

What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir
Publisher/Publication Date: Penguin, May 2010
ISBN: 978-0-14-311765-0
194 pages

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

You're right - even though this book was very dark in some ways, it wasn't a downer. Great review!


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