Book Review – From Pain to Parenthood

From Pain To Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption

Deanna Kahler

Paperback, 2013

I got this book through an email list that I subscribe to because it was offered to me at just the right time.  A very good friend of mine was celebrating pregnancy, about a year after mourning the loss of her first pregnancy.  On the other hand, somebody I had gone to school with was biting her nails because she was waiting for somebody else to deliver a baby so she could adopt her child after infertility.  So I really wanted this book, because I was hoping that this book would give me some sort of insight that would help me understand what they had gone through, something that could answer questions I had without me having to ask them.

The author, Deanna Kahler, is a writer, but this is her first memoir, and it reads like that.  It’s clear that her emotions and memories are all over the place still, because the book lacks the polish that a memoir should have.  In a way, this reads more like a blog or journal – there’s a lot of free thought/words flowing type of writing going on, but it lacks the smoothness and pizazz of a finished memoir.  Also, a lot of the stuff she says gets repeated in the next sentence or paragraph.

It doesn’t make the feelings she has any less important, or any less there, but it makes it harder to let the story engulf you and to feel it on an emotional level.  In fact, the book is very passive.  Part of the problem is the issue that all first person books have if not written really well – short choppy “I” sentences.

Also, the book suffered from an identity crisis.  Part of the book was clearly memoir, but then it would suddenly morph from “I felt this” to “so when one has this problem…”

In the end, I’m sorry I didn’t like the book more than I did, I really am.  Unfortunately, the way the book was written, I couldn’t get anything out of it.  Maybe it was because I am clearly an outsider.  I’ve never been pregnant, I’m not trying to have a baby, and I don’t have fertility issues that I know of (aside from an ever-louder biological clock).  So, maybe somebody who has struggled with these issues would get more out of it than I did.

But, that plays into my review too.  The book feels like a draft.  Like one major edit would make it incredible.  And because of that, I have to give it a 2/5.  If you need this type of book, don’t feel bad picking it up, but there’s probably something more polished out there somewhere.

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