An Excellent Choice
From the author of She Left Me The Gun, an explosive and hilarious memoir about the exceptional and life-changing decision to conceive a child on one's own via assisted reproduction When British journalist, memoirist, and New York-transplant Emma Brockes decides to become pregnant, she quickly realizes that, being single, 37, and in the early stages of a same-sex relationship, she's going to have to be untraditional about it. From the moment she decides to stop "futzing" around, have her eggs counted, and "get cracking"; through multiple trials of IUI, which she is intrigued to learn can be purchased in bulk packages, just like Costco; to the births of her twins, which her girlfriend gamely documents with her iPhone and selfie-stick, Brockes is never any less than bluntly and bracingly honest about her extraordinary journey to motherhood.She quizzes her friends on the pros and cons of personally knowing one's sperm donor, grapples with esoteric medical jargon and the existential brain-melt of flipping through donor catalogues and conjures with the politics of her Libertarian OB/GYN--all the while exploring the cultural circumstances and choices that have brought her to this point. Brockes writes with charming self-effacing humor about being a British woman undergoing fertility treatment in the US, poking fun at the starkly different attitude of Americans. Anxious that biological children might not be possible, she wonders, should she resent society for how it regards and treats women who try and fail to have children?Brockes deftly uses her own story to examine how and why an increasing number of women are using fertility treatments in order to become parents--and are doing it solo. Bringing the reader every step of the way with mordant wit and remarkable candor, Brockes shares the frustrations, embarrassments, surprises, and, finally, joys of her momentous and excellent choice.

An Excellent Choice Details

TitleAn Excellent Choice
Author
ReleaseJun 26th, 2018
PublisherFaber Faber
ISBN-139780571327478
Rating
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography, Parenting

An Excellent Choice Review

  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this book- but I have to say, there will be people who really dislike this book, both the very left and the very right. It is a memoir, not just of a woman's decision to have children (how conservative), relationship status be damned (how liberal!), but also of a type of adulthood that is currently more reality than the "adulthood" of the past that meant an early marriage, stable career, and early parenthood. Adulthood, in today's world, increasingly means long term friendships becomin I enjoyed this book- but I have to say, there will be people who really dislike this book, both the very left and the very right. It is a memoir, not just of a woman's decision to have children (how conservative), relationship status be damned (how liberal!), but also of a type of adulthood that is currently more reality than the "adulthood" of the past that meant an early marriage, stable career, and early parenthood. Adulthood, in today's world, increasingly means long term friendships becoming closer than family, free-lance work offering more privilege and more problems than previous work schedules, and the choice of relationships and children becoming less and less intertwined or linear. I enjoyed Brockes wit as a writer, and her comparisons between British and American healthcare (both systematic and cultural). She is aware of her privileges, and her relationship to L is....well, both interesting to read about and deeply confounding to me (a very single person.) Overall, worth a read, and it's quick, just know, to paraphrase loosely Brockes, books about parenting makes everyone feel a little fascist. For what it's worth, if I had a physical copy, I would put this on the shelf next to Dan Savage's "The Kid."
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  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent book. Emma Brockes writes with extraordinary clarity and honesty about a subject that is near and dear to more and more womens’ hearts. I felt as though she were writing my experience. Grateful to have read this book. I want her to write more! I am recommending far and wide.
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  • Cari
    January 1, 1970
    Fabulous memoir. I loved the writing, how I got to know the author, her country, and her family. It was laugh-out-loud funny in parts, and seriously poignant in others. Thanks to Edelweiss for the early copy.
  • Isabelle Solal
    January 1, 1970
    A book that treats a difficult subject with a rare and refreshing mix of levity and honesty. As Brockes notes, every solo mom’s journey is different, just as every parent’s path to parenthood is different - but this memoir helped me revisit and rethink my own experience.
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  • Leanne Ellis
    January 1, 1970
    Well-written and honest. I think having children was good for the author's narcissism and stubbornness.
  • Tena
    January 1, 1970
    I won this ARC in a GOODREADS giveaway!
  • Sally Stieglitz
    January 1, 1970
    What an engaging read! In this memoir, British journalist and New York transplant Emma Brockes describes her emotional and twisty path to becoming a single mother. Finding herself both at the upper limit of her fertile years and the early days of a relationship with a new partner (herself a new mother), Brockes is forced to confront the necessity of deciding without delay if she 1) wants to be a mother, 2) wants to co-parent, and 3) is willing to go through the physical, emotional, and financial What an engaging read! In this memoir, British journalist and New York transplant Emma Brockes describes her emotional and twisty path to becoming a single mother. Finding herself both at the upper limit of her fertile years and the early days of a relationship with a new partner (herself a new mother), Brockes is forced to confront the necessity of deciding without delay if she 1) wants to be a mother, 2) wants to co-parent, and 3) is willing to go through the physical, emotional, and financial upheaval of fertility treatments and artificial insemination. What follows is a lengthy journey of self examination, societal examination, and relationship examination, all illustrated by real life obstacles and triumphs. I particularly enjoyed Brockes’ wry observation on the differences between the British and American attitudes and expectations for health care (we don’t come out shining, but neither do they). Brockes spends a great deal of time on her relationship with her partner, each raising a separate family in the same apartment building, but not co-parenting. They have found a solution that makes sense for them but Brockes’ apparent need to repeatedly explain it comes across as a self soothing exercise for the author. Also engaging were Brockes’ insights into the antagonistic attitudes towards all women’s choices: early parenting, late parenting, single parenting, having one child, having several, having multiples. The thought that all choices are subject to varying criticism rings very true to me. Book club suitability: Very engaging read, better as a recommendation to a friend than a book club selection as nothing is as fraught as a discussion with friends about having children/not having children, a fact well acknowledged by the author.
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