Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What I Thought I Knew

Alice Eve Cohen
ISBN: 978-0-14-311765-0
Publisher: Penguin
Source: BookSparks PR

“A personal and medical odyssey beyond anything most women would believe possible”
 [taken from Amazon.com]

At age forty-four, after a difficult divorce, Alice Eve Cohen is engaged to an inspiring man whom she loves, happily raising her adopted daughter, and enjoying her growing career opportunities. Alice admits she’s never been happier and that’s when the stomach pains begin and her mother’s Jewish superstitions flood to her memory. The story is the journey of a woman who has come to terms with her infertility to one who struggles to love a heartbeat found in her womb - six months into a high-risk pregnancy.

This memoir was deeply moving. Alice’s story is one of deep inner struggle and turmoil as she battles her will and guilt over her shocking surprise pregnancy. It is quite easily tagged as a gripping and dark novel. While I agree with that, Alice’s memoir brings a whole other level to the plate. Her story is filled with humor that relieves the “tension”. I quickly identified with this method of coping. There is a point where everyone will hit their max, a breaking point, and it is then that you laugh or cry. Personally my emotions usually the uncomfortable or deeply sad emotions will come out in some form of laughter mixed with tears. I felt this same sort of coping in the novel. While Alice’s story is not funny and is quite shocking and tragic in ways, it delivers comic relief for her reader which lets them know, I’m okay, it will be okay.

As a mother I felt for Alice, as a patient I was enraged with the incompetence of the doctors who treated her, as an anti-abortion advocate I had a hard time with the sections of this book that dealt with this topic. I really enjoyed the adoption aspects of this book as I feel many choose to abort when adoption is a very valid option and can give a family with no hope of having children, a child. Overall, this book was a wonderful read! It is an amazing and unbelievable story of triumph in so much adversity. It is motherhood at many stages and levels. It is a story of imperfection and beauty. I am amazed that Alice is strong enough to share her story. Just as she did, I don’t think I could have stopped writing for fear I would never finish, never get my story out. I recommend this memoir. It is a though provoking, poignant, humorous and life affirming book. It proves that what we think we know can change in an instant, our lives never being the same again.

Alice Eve Cohen is a solo theatre artist, playwright, and memoirist. Her memoir, What I Thought I Knew (Viking, 2009) won the Elle's Lettres 2009 Grand Prix for Nonfiction. She has written for Nickelodeon, PBS, and CBS. Her plays have been presented at theatres throughout the country, and she has toured her solo theatre works internationally. Her writing about arts in education has been published in nine languages. The recipient of fellowships and grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, she holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA from The New School. She teaches at The New School in New York City.

Website: http://www.aliceevecohen.com/
Connect with Alice on Facebook

Alice's book can be purchased at Barnes and Nobles as well as Amazon.



  1. Wow, this sounds like it will stir some pretty deep emotions; her story is one I would like to read.

    Enjoy your holidays Tiffany!

  2. Wow this book, does sound wonderful. I'm sure there will be some spots I will be absolutely mad and where I cry like a baby.

    This definitely sounds like a to be bought book.

  3. I just signed up to win this book. As a mom, I know that this book is going to rip my heart out. I deeply feel for anyone that struggles with any type of infertility & pregnancy issues. I think we all have our stories & know someone that has a story to tell. Thank you for the chance to win this book & thank you so much for this review. It is great!


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