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Review: What I Thought I Knew

November 30, 2010

When Alice Eve Cohen was told that she was infertile because she had a deformed uterus and an extremely low estrogen level, she was initially devastated.  Once she came to terms with it, she and her first husband adopted a lovely baby girl.  Nine years later, divorced, and in a new relationship, Cohen knew something wasn’t quite right, and was told that she had loss of muscle tone due to menopause and aging.  Imagine her surprise, when she went to another doctor a few months later, and discovered that she was six months pregnant.

Cohen knew that this was a high risk pregnancy – she was 44, she was taking estrogen, and her uterus was small and deformed, among other things.  To make matters worse, she had inadequate insurance.  Even though her partner was positive and supportive, Cohen found herself sinking into depression as she faced some of the toughest decisions she would ever have to make.

What I Thought I Knew is the true story of this difficult period of  Alice Eve Cohen‘s life and what a story it is!  I admire her openness and honesty in the telling of her story.  Rather than pointing fingers and laying blame, Cohen tells her story in a matter of fact way in spite of the depression that gripped her during this time.   I think this is an important book, that will probably be reassuring to some women, since the author is so frank about topics that many people won’t discuss even though they may have some of the same feelings.

I was totally engrossed in this book and couldn’t put it down.  I was so caught up in Cohen’s story and found myself empathizing with her, even though I’ve never had to face anything like she has.  I really appreciated her honesty and felt like I knew her by the time I was through with the book.  What I Thought I Knew will make readers think about what they “know” and realize that things are never black and white and decisions aren’t as easy as they seem.  This book is ultimately uplifting, but it will take you on quite a journey to get there.

Check out Alice Eve Cohen on Facebook and Twitter.

Review copy provided by Book Sparks.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
41 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2010 5:45 am

    I love the cover, 2 women going in different directions seems very intriguing. The subject matter doesn’t interest me though, but if you say it’s good, I’ll keep it in my mind.

  2. November 30, 2010 6:53 am

    When I was reading this one all I could think about was how raw it was….the words seem to pour out from Alice Eve Cohen, rather than being calculated. I loved this one, and thanks for the great review!

  3. November 30, 2010 6:59 am

    It definitely sounds like she had some tough decisions to make. I’ll keep this one in mind.

  4. November 30, 2010 7:01 am

    This does indeed sound engrossing and I am placing it on my TBR list. Thanks for the great review!

  5. November 30, 2010 7:08 am

    I’m finding myself drawn to books about fertility, life decisions and other things that I would have tossed a few years ago. Guess I’m growing up. I’ve read a few reviews of this, all very good. I need to check it out.

  6. November 30, 2010 8:02 am

    I don’t usually read memoirs but the reviews have really peaked my interest on this one!

  7. November 30, 2010 8:34 am

    I have been through it all with the fertility thing, so anything that touches on that topic interests me. Personally, I think as a woman, I felt it was my God-given gift to have children. When you are told you cannot due to some deformity or abnormality, it feels like failure. To me it did anyway. It really messes with your mind. I can’t even imagine finding out, after all that, that you are pregnant at 44! Eeek!

  8. November 30, 2010 10:25 am

    I couldn’t put this memoir down. Absolutely riveting!

  9. November 30, 2010 10:52 am

    I’ve heard a number of wonderful things about this book — seems to be quite a tough subject, of course, but written in that honest and engaging way. Just the sort of writing that I like to immerse myself in — great review!

  10. November 30, 2010 11:36 am

    This would be a very difficult subject for me but want to read it anyway. Thanks for the review as I didn’t know about this book.

  11. November 30, 2010 11:39 am

    I just won this book from Mary@Bookfan and I can’t wait to read it. Every review makes it move higher and higher on my TBR list.

  12. November 30, 2010 11:42 am

    It sounds like this would be difficult yet beneficial to read in the end. Thank you for sharing it.

  13. November 30, 2010 12:11 pm

    once again…since I have sworn off memoirs…
    but this sounds interesting and like it touches on some controversial topics.

  14. November 30, 2010 1:31 pm

    I’ll be reading this for a book tour soon, and I’m really looking forward to it.

  15. November 30, 2010 1:55 pm

    I love memoirs and babies so I think that I would ultimately love this book – thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. November 30, 2010 2:24 pm

    Wow. That sounds intense.

  17. Beth Hoffman permalink
    November 30, 2010 3:06 pm

    I’m a novel lover and memoirs aren’t usually on my list, but this one sounds like it might be something I’d enjoy. Great review, Kathy!

  18. November 30, 2010 3:18 pm

    I’ve read such great reviews like yours about this book. I’ve gotten a bit tired of memoirs but I will definitely give this one a try.

  19. November 30, 2010 3:20 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one Kathy. It sounds like a really good memoir.

  20. November 30, 2010 3:20 pm

    Terrific review. I had almost the exact same reaction. The author’s honesty is at times almost brutal.

  21. November 30, 2010 3:29 pm

    I want to read this! Memoirs about *real* people (not celebrities) take up a lot of space on my bookshelves.

    Love the title, too – so many times we’re struck with a situation that is so different than what we expected (and, yes, I believe that we can’t know how we’ll react in a particular situation unless we’re in it!)

  22. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 30, 2010 3:33 pm

    Fertility and age issues are things I’m familiar with, but I’m not sure I’m ready to relive it all.

  23. November 30, 2010 3:41 pm

    Oh no, decisions, oh I hope it was not a heartbreaking one 😦

  24. November 30, 2010 4:30 pm

    Very well-written review, Kathy. You make this book sound fascinating.

  25. November 30, 2010 5:27 pm

    I am always up for a story like this. I am adding it ot my list right now. Excellent review 🙂

  26. November 30, 2010 7:03 pm

    I wonder how it ended now… It must have been such an incredibly painful moment when you discover what you never thought was possible becomes a reality, vis a vis baby.

    From reading the comments seems that it’s a real hit. Going to see if I can find this one soon.

    Another riveting review with positive clarity on why this book is a must.

  27. November 30, 2010 8:04 pm

    I imagine that quite a few women will thank the Lord that she wrote this book. It seems like such an emotional and complex issue that an increasing number of women. Great review.

  28. November 30, 2010 8:37 pm

    I’ve read some great reviews of this one. If I come across it I will certainly pick it up!! 😀

  29. November 30, 2010 9:29 pm

    Sounds like a fascinating story. I like that you added that it is uplifting in the end, because it does sound like a tough time getting there.

  30. November 30, 2010 11:50 pm

    Must pull this off my shelves – this sounds wonderful!

  31. Veens permalink
    December 1, 2010 2:50 am

    Oh my! That would be some depressing times to live through! I am sure I would love to read her story too.

  32. December 1, 2010 9:15 am

    Wonderful review Kathy 🙂
    I don’t often read memoirs, but your review makes this sound so compelling, I want to give it a second look. Thanks!

  33. December 1, 2010 9:52 am

    It’s good that the author addressed topics that need to come to the fore about pregnancy, depression and illness. So many women suffer but do not have support. Thanks for this review.

  34. December 1, 2010 12:48 pm

    I like an occasional good memoir. This one sounds as if I will become totally engrossed.

  35. December 1, 2010 2:22 pm

    Many thanks, Kathy, for the wonderful review of my memoir. And thanks to your readers for these thoughtful comments!
    I hope you enjoy the book!

  36. December 3, 2010 1:00 pm

    I don’t usually read memoirs like this, but it does sound like it would be interesting.

  37. December 3, 2010 11:53 pm

    It really was one of the most honest books I’ve ever read. I quite liked the style that it was written in as well.

  38. December 4, 2010 8:38 pm

    I am putting this on to the TBR – I love memoirs and this one sounds very interesting!

  39. December 5, 2010 7:00 pm

    Just a thought: I have a feeling that IF I ever get pregnant, it would probably be around that age also due to personal circumstances. This book is one that I want to read.

  40. December 5, 2010 11:02 pm

    What a fantastic-sounding book! Women tend to be so quiet about fertility issues when there is so much to share and be unashamed about. Thank you for your review. I’ll be looking out for this one. xo

  41. December 9, 2010 6:10 pm

    This one sounds really, really good.

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