I made a vow/resolution/promise, etc., to myself this year to not buy any new books until I had read all the old ones I bought and haven't even touched. (There are many so it's going to be a while. I might even share the list in a future post.)
However, in the mail this week I received a copy of Lisa Manterfield's new book, I'm Taking My Eggs and Going Home: How One Woman Dared to Say No to Motherhood from the author herself. Wow! We have talked a handful of times on the phone and I have always enjoyed how smart & thought-provoking Lisa is both in her writing and in conversation.
Yet, when this book arrived with it's gorgeous cover, I wasn't sure I was ready to read it. I have felt a nice distance from my infertility focused days and was a bit worried it might stir some old feelings up for me. (Like when I read Silent Sorority: A Barren Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found - emotional but excellent!) But after tentatively cracking it open, it consumed most of my day yesterday. I only stopped because my husband was waiting to go have dinner. As soon as we got back, I ran right back to it to finish it. So, here's my review, if you will, on it:
Lisa engaged me right away with her take on her 6 year infertility story. Mainly because it was really about so much more - to me, it's about being a woman in today's day and age. Navigating challenges from leaving your family a country away, to the role you fill in your own family, to the ups and downs of being in & around relationships that work and others than don't. I also love how Lisa really lets you inside her head at each point and the clever dance always going on between emotion & logic including how she struggles to reach her own conclusions in the midst of the two.
Lisa doesn't hold back from delving into feelings about her husband, his grown children, her family, his family, friends and co-workers. You get a sense of her world - the world as we actually experience it in our own heads anyway. I wasn't left with that, "I wonder about this person or that person?" She goes there even if it makes her look less than perfect. It made me feel an even deeper kinship to her.
And yes, oh yes, does she delve into her infertility story. She takes you on it step by step and you feel like you're in the room with each passing moment, whether it's at the latest appointment of the person whose going to "make it happen" or in private conversations with her husband in the car. She gives a beautiful and heart wrenching account of just how all-consuming, exhausting and truly never ending infertility can be.
I really loved the book and felt it was so much more than an infertility story. It was an account of real life and the barrage of situations women face in adulthood. I hope many women will read this and feel comforted, whether they have faced infertility or not. (I hope for those who haven't faced it, this will be one of those books that opens their eyes & hearts to when infertility does enter their life in some way.) In Lisa's telling her story she reminds us how little we know what's truly going on in a person's life and that we should all be more accepting & loving of what's truly going on in our own, too.
Thank you, Lisa, for this book and your story. You have made a terrific contribution to the storytelling world and the infertility community, particularly those of are who are childless not by choice but choose to go on and be happy nonetheless. You can buy the e-book here and the Kindle version via Amazon.com here. The paperback can be pre-ordered through Amazon or purchased directly here.