Saturday, April 18, 2015

Expecting Adam

Expecting Adam
by Martha Beck

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: John and Martha Beck had two Harvard degrees apiece when they conceived their second child.  Further graduate studies, budding careers, and a growing family meant major stress-not that they'd have admitted it to anyone.  It was hard enough to admit it to themselves.  As the pregnancy progressed, Martha battled constant nausea and dehydration.  And when she learned her unborn son had Down syndrome, she battled nearly everyone over her decision to continue the pregnancy.  She still cannot explain many of the things that happened to her while she was expecting Adam, but by the time he was born, Martha, as she puts it, "had to unlearn virtually everything Harvard taught [her] about what is precious and what is garbage."
from the back of the book

Review:  I had a really hard time getting into this book because of the pretentious and arrogant nature of the author at the beginning of the book.  Perhaps I had such a hard time with her attitude because things were so different 20 years ago in terms of how women, abortion and children with disabilities were viewed.  Perhaps I had a hard time because I am in the education field and work with students on a daily basis who have disabilities.  I'm not sure the exact reason why Beck got under my skin so much but the beginning definitely set me on edge.  I also was disgusted by how she used the word retarded quite often.  The book was published in 1999 and perhaps the movement for getting rid of that word had not happened yet but it was certainly hard to read.  I do have to say that I applaud Beck for being so honest.  She did not hold anything back about her feelings and thoughts about being pregnant at that particular point in her life nor did she apologize for them.

Then Beck started talking about this paranormal sixth sense that she would get.  She referred to it as The Seeing Thing and the Bunraku Puppeteers.  I just couldn't buy into this at all and this came up throughout the entire book.  It even got stranger when she and her husband "heard" their unborn child talking to them.  Just too bizarre for me.

I'm not sure why I couldn't abandon this book.  I didn't care at all about it.  I didn't care for the author's way of writing when she tried to "talk" to the readers.  I thought this book was going to be more about Beck learning from her son and learning to look at life differently.  She did look at life differently but she learned that through her "visions."  The last chapter was more about what I was looking for and I really wish the whole book could have been like the last chapter.

Rating: 1 star

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