web site hit counter Loved and Wanted: A Memoir of Choice, Children, and Womanhood - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Loved and Wanted: A Memoir of Choice, Children, and Womanhood

Availability: Ready to download

Christa Parravani was forty years old, in a troubled marriage, and in bad financial straits when she learned she was pregnant with her third child. She and her family were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she had taken a professorial position at the local university. Haunted by a childhood steeped in poverty and violence and by young adult years rocked by the trag Christa Parravani was forty years old, in a troubled marriage, and in bad financial straits when she learned she was pregnant with her third child. She and her family were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she had taken a professorial position at the local university. Haunted by a childhood steeped in poverty and violence and by young adult years rocked by the tragic death of her identical twin sister, Christa hoped her professor’s salary and health care might set her and her young family on a safe and steady path. Instead, one year after the birth of her second child, Christa found herself pregnant again. Six weeks into the pregnancy, she requested an abortion. And in the weeks, then months, that followed, nurses obfuscated and doctors refused outright or feared being found out to the point of, ultimately, becoming unavailable to provide Christa with reproductive choice. By the time Christa understood that she would need to leave West Virginia to obtain a safe, legal abortion, she’d run out of time. She had failed to imagine that she might not have access to reproductive choice in the United States, until it was too late for her, her pregnancy too far along. So she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Keats. And another frightening education began: available healthcare was dangerously inadequate to her newborn son’s needs; indeed, environmental degradations and poor healthcare endangered Christa’s older children as well. Loved and Wanted is the passionate story of a woman’s love for her children, and a poignant and bracing look at the difficult choices women in America are forced to make every day, in a nation where policies and a cultural war on women leave them without sufficient agency over their bodies, their futures, and even their hopes for their children’s lives.


Compare

Christa Parravani was forty years old, in a troubled marriage, and in bad financial straits when she learned she was pregnant with her third child. She and her family were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she had taken a professorial position at the local university. Haunted by a childhood steeped in poverty and violence and by young adult years rocked by the trag Christa Parravani was forty years old, in a troubled marriage, and in bad financial straits when she learned she was pregnant with her third child. She and her family were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she had taken a professorial position at the local university. Haunted by a childhood steeped in poverty and violence and by young adult years rocked by the tragic death of her identical twin sister, Christa hoped her professor’s salary and health care might set her and her young family on a safe and steady path. Instead, one year after the birth of her second child, Christa found herself pregnant again. Six weeks into the pregnancy, she requested an abortion. And in the weeks, then months, that followed, nurses obfuscated and doctors refused outright or feared being found out to the point of, ultimately, becoming unavailable to provide Christa with reproductive choice. By the time Christa understood that she would need to leave West Virginia to obtain a safe, legal abortion, she’d run out of time. She had failed to imagine that she might not have access to reproductive choice in the United States, until it was too late for her, her pregnancy too far along. So she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Keats. And another frightening education began: available healthcare was dangerously inadequate to her newborn son’s needs; indeed, environmental degradations and poor healthcare endangered Christa’s older children as well. Loved and Wanted is the passionate story of a woman’s love for her children, and a poignant and bracing look at the difficult choices women in America are forced to make every day, in a nation where policies and a cultural war on women leave them without sufficient agency over their bodies, their futures, and even their hopes for their children’s lives.

30 review for Loved and Wanted: A Memoir of Choice, Children, and Womanhood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Loved and Wanted is both a moving and brutally honest memoir of motherhood and the sacrifices we make for our children as well as the story of a stressed family, an unplanned pregnancy, and a painful, if liberating, awakening. Christa Parravani was forty years old, in a troubled marriage, and in bad financial straits when she learned she was pregnant with her third child. She and her family were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she had taken a professorial position at the local univers Loved and Wanted is both a moving and brutally honest memoir of motherhood and the sacrifices we make for our children as well as the story of a stressed family, an unplanned pregnancy, and a painful, if liberating, awakening. Christa Parravani was forty years old, in a troubled marriage, and in bad financial straits when she learned she was pregnant with her third child. She and her family were living in Morgantown, West Virginia, where she had taken a professorial position at the local university. Haunted by a childhood steeped in poverty and violence and by young adult years rocked by the tragic death of her identical twin sister, Christa hoped her professor’s salary and health care might set her and her young family on a safe and steady path. Instead, one year after the birth of her second child, Christa found herself pregnant again. Six weeks into the pregnancy, she requested an abortion. And in the weeks, then months, that followed, nurses obfuscated and doctors refused outright or feared being found out to the point of, ultimately, becoming unavailable to provide Christa with reproductive choice. This is a candid look at the societal forces that shape women's lives. By the time Christa understood that she would need to leave West Virginia to obtain a safe, legal abortion, she’d run out of time. She had failed to imagine that she might not have access to reproductive choice in the United States, until it was too late for her, her pregnancy too far along. So she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Keats. And another frightening education began: available healthcare was dangerously inadequate to her newborn son’s needs; indeed, environmental degradations and poor healthcare endangered Christa’s older children as well. Loved and Wanted is the passionate story of a woman’s love for her children, and a poignant and bracing look at the difficult choices women in America are forced to make every day, in a nation where policies and a cultural war on women leave them without sufficient agency over their bodies, their futures, and even their hopes for their children’s lives. I found myself moved to tears at times by this simultaneously heartbreaking and heartwarming memoir and felt the incisive social commentary couldn't be more necessary or timely. Many thanks to Manilla Press for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    CatBookMom

    Wow, small-letter wow. This is slow-motion, hard-to-resist, easy-to-read biography. Brava! Ms Parravani! Brava!! Our author is a respected author, a respected, university=level professor. And yet. And yet. This is an easy read, a winding-around sort of story, and a call for more womens'-rights, more reproductive-rights, here, there, and every-damn-where. Her life, her choices w/r/t her husband, may be different than others might choose, but THEY are HER choices. But it tells you about how diffic Wow, small-letter wow. This is slow-motion, hard-to-resist, easy-to-read biography. Brava! Ms Parravani! Brava!! Our author is a respected author, a respected, university=level professor. And yet. And yet. This is an easy read, a winding-around sort of story, and a call for more womens'-rights, more reproductive-rights, here, there, and every-damn-where. Her life, her choices w/r/t her husband, may be different than others might choose, but THEY are HER choices. But it tells you about how difficult it is to get an abortion in WVirginia, in many places in the US, in the post-2016s. The balance of the time, the cost, of traveling to a clinic; of even finding an MD who will prescribe the medical-abortion meds, against your job's requirements, your lack of funds. Which, in WVa, is approximately no one. The author found, with one of her children, that there was ONE = ONE!! - pediatric urologist in all of W Virginia. While that state, due to assorted mineral-content of their water, etc., has the worst record of urological issues in the US. Our author's daughter had a non-joined ureter at birth, or similar, among the many kidney-abnormality issues known for babies born there. They drank the local water during that pregnancy. Her 3rd child had no such issues; they scrimped for bottled, delivered water during the pregnancy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I read Her shortly after it was released and really enjoyed it, so I was definitely excited to see that the author had put out another book. I am also a staunch supporter of the right to choose, and I will read anything that highlights the difficulties women have obtaining abortions in America and why they should remain safe, legal, and easy to get. First, the things I liked about the book: Parravani did a Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I read Her shortly after it was released and really enjoyed it, so I was definitely excited to see that the author had put out another book. I am also a staunch supporter of the right to choose, and I will read anything that highlights the difficulties women have obtaining abortions in America and why they should remain safe, legal, and easy to get. First, the things I liked about the book: Parravani did a great job of giving a full picture of just how grim the state of women's health in West Virginia truly is. By juxtaposing it with her experiences in Los Angeles medical facilities, you can see just how drastically subpar WV is. She gave statistics all throughout the book on poverty, maternity leave, good pre-and-post-natal care, education, environmental factors, and -of course- access to safe abortions. It resonates when you have a woman with two children who she very much wanted and desperately loves with all of her heart Googling abortion pills to buy online because medical providers in her state make it nearly impossible to terminate a pregnancy that was unexpected and comes in a time when she feels that she wouldn't be able to best provide for the child. I also thought her descriptions of her children were beautiful. Her absolute and infinite love jumped off the page with every word about them. The things that weren't so successful: While I appreciate that she wanted to give a full, honest picture of her marriage and her life for the context of the book (and she even admitted that certain things didn't paint her and her husband in the best light), it still felt like the book often became about a terrible marriage rather than a normal marriage with speedbumps. Maybe I am a little too starry-eyed for hyper realistic descriptions of most relationships, but I know that I would have far less tolerance for some of the things she described. Her husband often seemed checked out, bitter, disinterested, or angry over choices that he assisted in making. Parravani shouldered all the blame for moving them to West Virginia for her job, but what else was she supposed to do? Stay in one of the highest cost-of-living areas in the US with no jobs? It just read like a dysfunctional relationship pretty much all the way through, which put a damper on the book. Also, I very much enjoy Parravani's writing (her previous novel got 5 stars from me), but she did veer into purple prose more than once in this book to the point of being slightly wearisome. With that said, I did still enjoy this book. It served an important purpose to show just how disproportionate women's healthcare is across the US. It reignited my passion for continuing the fight to keep abortions safe and legal. And I would absolutely pick up another book by her!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andi

    An important book, particularly for what Parravani says about nuance; because the simple right to abortion is always in question, there's no room to explore all its complexities and contradictions. The memoir does an amazing job with the complexity of desperately loving her child while still asserting she should have had access to a safe abortion. It's also highly gulpable -- I read it in two sittings. An important book, particularly for what Parravani says about nuance; because the simple right to abortion is always in question, there's no room to explore all its complexities and contradictions. The memoir does an amazing job with the complexity of desperately loving her child while still asserting she should have had access to a safe abortion. It's also highly gulpable -- I read it in two sittings.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda

    From a shitty marriage to professor at WVU, the author tells the story of a snapshot of her life. Meh! I worked at WVU and lived in Morgantown, WV for close to 20 years. It isn't the perfect place but what place is? Unless Morgantown has changed in the last 15 years for the worst, this book is just one small perspective of WV and it hasn't shown me much. This is the author's bit of poverty porn at it's finest. What a crock of shit. From a shitty marriage to professor at WVU, the author tells the story of a snapshot of her life. Meh! I worked at WVU and lived in Morgantown, WV for close to 20 years. It isn't the perfect place but what place is? Unless Morgantown has changed in the last 15 years for the worst, this book is just one small perspective of WV and it hasn't shown me much. This is the author's bit of poverty porn at it's finest. What a crock of shit.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Loved and Wanted by Christa Parravani is her memoir of her time when she found herself pregnant with her third child in West Virginia, where abortion, although legal is not really a choice for many women. I found this book to be difficult to read because it seemed to be more about her difficult marriage and her unhappiness with her husband than it was about her inability to get an abortion in West Virginia...she wanted to keep the baby and she did. It seemed that the book was more of a diatribe a Loved and Wanted by Christa Parravani is her memoir of her time when she found herself pregnant with her third child in West Virginia, where abortion, although legal is not really a choice for many women. I found this book to be difficult to read because it seemed to be more about her difficult marriage and her unhappiness with her husband than it was about her inability to get an abortion in West Virginia...she wanted to keep the baby and she did. It seemed that the book was more of a diatribe about the poor choices her husband made with his jobs, his blaming her for moving them to WV for her work when she was the only one who had a paying job and his unwillingness to help raise their girls or do anything around the house, but this was all couched in the rhetoric of the difficulty women go through to be prochoice and get the appropriate care during an unwanted pregnancy. I opted to read this book because, as a pro choice woman, I was interested in the subject matter and there was some good information in the book. It just wasn't what I was expecting. I also found it very abrupt that as soon as the baby was born the book ended. That was it. I guess I expected more after saying the child was loved and wanted. Thanks to the author, Henry Holt & Company and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in return for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jill Dobbe

    In Loved and Wanted the author takes readers into her life from childhood with a beloved sister and divorced, single mother to her own marriage, her work as a teacher and author, and most importantly, her relationships with her children. Life hasn't always been easy and there are some financial problems, then she discovers she's pregnant with a third child. This book is about more than just the dilemma of whether or not to get an abortion. It is also an account of the circumstances the author fin In Loved and Wanted the author takes readers into her life from childhood with a beloved sister and divorced, single mother to her own marriage, her work as a teacher and author, and most importantly, her relationships with her children. Life hasn't always been easy and there are some financial problems, then she discovers she's pregnant with a third child. This book is about more than just the dilemma of whether or not to get an abortion. It is also an account of the circumstances the author finds herself in as her family moves from California to West Virginia, about the tenuous relationship with her husband, the pollution problem and dismal air quality of West Virginia, her sister's death, and the 2016 presidential election, among others. . The author writes with unadulterated honesty in an almost poetic fashion. Her prose moves around a lot, but I still found it an interesting and engaging read. Thank you NetGalley, author and publisher.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Parker

    I very recently read another memoir about a different author’s pregnancy, delivery and life with a newborn. My general impression and subsequent review was “Why the hell should we care about something that happens to thousands and thousands of women every day?” Loved and Wanted is another memoir that focuses on a pregnancy, but unlike the above-mentioned book, this one is worth caring about. This is the book the other author wished she had written. Christa Parravani has demonstrated, with both t I very recently read another memoir about a different author’s pregnancy, delivery and life with a newborn. My general impression and subsequent review was “Why the hell should we care about something that happens to thousands and thousands of women every day?” Loved and Wanted is another memoir that focuses on a pregnancy, but unlike the above-mentioned book, this one is worth caring about. This is the book the other author wished she had written. Christa Parravani has demonstrated, with both this writing and her memoir, Her, that she is willing to strip bare and expose the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this memoir, Parravani chronicles the difficulty and shame that accompanies an unplanned pregnancy in West Virginia and the almost Herculean task of exercising the choice to terminate. Of being married but alone. Of being educated and employed but unable to provide. Of having a baby that was unwanted but is deeply loved. I found her story heartbreaking and infuriating, yet also surprisingly compassionate, especially for those who aren’t deserving. Thanks to #netgalley and #henryholtandcompany for this ARC of #lovedandwanted in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    A college professor from NYS is teaching at a university in West Virginia as is her husband. They have little money and are struggling to care for their two young daughters. She mistakenly gets pregnant again and they decide she needs an abortion. They can’t care for a third child right now. Used to living in New York and California, she doesn’t foresee and gets confused when her doctor and others in the medical field confuse and delay her abortion, first, preventing her from getting a drug indu A college professor from NYS is teaching at a university in West Virginia as is her husband. They have little money and are struggling to care for their two young daughters. She mistakenly gets pregnant again and they decide she needs an abortion. They can’t care for a third child right now. Used to living in New York and California, she doesn’t foresee and gets confused when her doctor and others in the medical field confuse and delay her abortion, first, preventing her from getting a drug induced one and then stunned at the hurdles to get a medical abortion. She finds herself to pregnant to get one and has a child with some complications. An interesting insightful story on how places in the United States make it nearly impossible to get an abortion and good neonatal care.

  10. 4 out of 5

    kevin moore

    Good....and also confusing. The emotional roller coaster of abortion choice and the search for options in a non-supportive state (WV). The angst, pain, long recovery of child birth. Strong writing about her feelings for her children. All good. Does she favor WV or not? Calif? The ethereal husband - good or bad? close to dirt poor early in story and then thread kind of dropped - as the family moved somehow between the coasts. Stream of consciousness style, vice fully developed story lines, in these Good....and also confusing. The emotional roller coaster of abortion choice and the search for options in a non-supportive state (WV). The angst, pain, long recovery of child birth. Strong writing about her feelings for her children. All good. Does she favor WV or not? Calif? The ethereal husband - good or bad? close to dirt poor early in story and then thread kind of dropped - as the family moved somehow between the coasts. Stream of consciousness style, vice fully developed story lines, in these areas did not work well for me. Brings you to an understanding of these themes and then they just peter out. But worth a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tommy Estlund

    Best book I've read this year. Cannot recommend strongly enough. Best book I've read this year. Cannot recommend strongly enough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elite Group

    A searing look at women’s rights in conservative states in the USA. When did women give men, religion or anyone else the right to dictate what they can do if they find themselves pregnant with an unwanted, unplanned baby? Christa Parravani raises this question and points out the pitfalls on wanting to terminate a pregnancy from the very early stages in the conservative states in the USA. This is an “angry” memoir. However, as I read this quite harrowing tale of trying to terminate her third pregn A searing look at women’s rights in conservative states in the USA. When did women give men, religion or anyone else the right to dictate what they can do if they find themselves pregnant with an unwanted, unplanned baby? Christa Parravani raises this question and points out the pitfalls on wanting to terminate a pregnancy from the very early stages in the conservative states in the USA. This is an “angry” memoir. However, as I read this quite harrowing tale of trying to terminate her third pregnancy – Christa fails to have the abortion and genuinely loves Keats, her longed-for son when he is finally born. His birth is traumatic. The hospital is not adequately equipped, and the doctors and nurses don’t seem to care. Keats’ shoulder is broken during the birth because he’s pulled out of her. This break is not picked up by the hospital – Christa keeps saying, “there’s something wrong with his arm” and like many women is told that she’s overwrought. Women are so often overlooked and treated like they have no idea what they’re talking about when they KNOW that there is a problem with their child. He also has a problem taking to the breast and bottle. Again, the problem is overlooked until finally, someone realises that there really is a problem! From thinking “Gosh, you’re angry” I found myself gritting my teeth and fuming about how women are treated in this the 21st century. I didn’t enjoy this book. Far from it – my feminist, “get out there and fight for equal rights” way of thinking kicked in, and I was all for catching the first plane to the USA to defend women’s rights to make their own decisions. I find it so exasperating to think that I fought so hard for laws to change in South Africa during the 80s and 90s and yet here we are in 2020, and things are going backwards in America. This memoir was harrowing for me. Having said that, I’d recommend this book to men to read as well. No termination is taken lightly. Christa had precise reasons for requesting the procedure. Her story is just one – but many women find themselves alone in a very hostile world trying to convince doctors or nurses to listen to their stories and then receive the help they so desperately need. Maybe if we all tried to be less judgemental and more understanding, life would be a lot easier. Thank you Christa Parravani. I wish I was closer to help you fight for women’s right to make their own decisions when it comes to abortion without feeling stigmatised. Rony Elite Reviewing Group

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sapna Kumar

    An important and timely work considering the state of the Supreme Court and the fragility of Roe v. Wade in this country. What I learned from Parravani's work is there are so many different versions of the U.S. depending on where you live. For example, Parravani's two states of residence in this book are polar opposites: California and West Virginia. I also applaud the author for keeping the book on point on the subject of choice. There were many opportunities for digressions, but instead, Parra An important and timely work considering the state of the Supreme Court and the fragility of Roe v. Wade in this country. What I learned from Parravani's work is there are so many different versions of the U.S. depending on where you live. For example, Parravani's two states of residence in this book are polar opposites: California and West Virginia. I also applaud the author for keeping the book on point on the subject of choice. There were many opportunities for digressions, but instead, Parravani doesn't waste a word and ties each paragraph to the overall message of the book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    Date reviewed: October 1, 2020 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the second wave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in excha Date reviewed: October 1, 2020 When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the second wave is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. "Haunting, wild, and quiet at once. A shimmering look at motherhood, in all gothic pain and glory. I could not stop reading' Lisa Taddeo, bestselling author of Three Women A powerful account of one woman's reckoning with life, death and choice in Trump's America. For readers of Educated and Hillbilly Elegy. 'I want to see a doctor as soon as possible. For an abortion, please.' I was raw and scared. The line went quiet for a moment. 'I don't know what you're talking about,' the receptionist said dryly. Then more forcefully. 'We don't do things like that here.' In 2017 Christa Parravani had recently moved her family from California to West Virginia and was surviving on a teacher's salary and raising two young children with her husband, screenwriter Anthony Swofford. Another pregnancy, a year after giving birth to her second child, came as a shock. Christa had a history of ectopic pregnancies and worried that she wouldn't be able to find adequate medical care. She immediately requested a termination, but her doctor refused to help. The only doctor who would perform an abortion made it clear that this would be illicit, not condoned by her colleagues or their community. Christa Parravani has crafted, through her own harrowing experiences with healthcare in contemporary America, a brilliant and moving exploration of the impossible choices women face. What a SEARING| BOOK ... with Trump's nomination of an anti-woman's-right-to-choose justice, abortion, in general, will be a hot topic for months if not years (ditto LGBTQIA rights as she hates them, too!). This was an incredible book that I have now told my book club that we HAVE TO READ in November - the story could be one of any of us. Adequate medical care is a problem in Canada and the US ..and of course, it occurs world wide - why else would there be Doctors-without-borders and Project Smile? Abortion is a hot topic, for sure, but this book shows a woman's valid opinions and needs - you may hate abortion but be pro women's rights: take this to your book club and be ready for a lively discussion of an incredibly well-written book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carin

    Christa meets a man who she marries a little later in life, so they have kids right away. Two adorable daughters, and things seem perfect. While his career has had its ups and downs (he writes for Hollywood), Christa gets offered a full professorship at West Virginia University, After losing their shirt and then some in LA more than once, a steady, prestigious job in a gorgeous location seems ideal. The pay is not great, but it's just enough. And then Christa realizes she's pregnant for a third Christa meets a man who she marries a little later in life, so they have kids right away. Two adorable daughters, and things seem perfect. While his career has had its ups and downs (he writes for Hollywood), Christa gets offered a full professorship at West Virginia University, After losing their shirt and then some in LA more than once, a steady, prestigious job in a gorgeous location seems ideal. The pay is not great, but it's just enough. And then Christa realizes she's pregnant for a third time. Unplanned. And not exactly wanted. In fact, this child will be a huge burden to their already overtaxed family. And like thousands of married women, she seeks out other options. And yet, she's in West Virginia. So the options that are available to many Americans, and are supposed to be legal in all of America, aren't exactly open to her. There is exactly one abortion clinic in the state of West Virginia,and it's three hours away. And because of two-step procedures and the chance of complications and the need for recovery, she'd have to stay several days. What would she do with her daughters during that time (yes, her husband is kind of useless but that's not the point here.) She could instead try Pittsburgh but that's also 3+ hours away, so same problems. She tries to get the drug RU-486 but, while she finds a doctor who would prescribe it for her under the table, the doctor warns her that if she has complications and goes to the ER, they won't treat her. And the doctor would herself be fired. So Christa is now faced with another, even more gut-wrenching choice than before. It's hard enough to decide to terminate a pregnancy, but then what that choice isn't actually available to you--what next?

  16. 4 out of 5

    the overstuffed bookshelf

    Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Co. for this advanced reader's copy of Loved and Wanted by Christa Parravani. Wow, wow, wow. What an amazing memoir. I didn't love just because I love memoirs, I loved this because it really spoke to what it is like to be mother, wife, woman in this country right now. This is the story of a woman who gets pregnant in the deep Red state of West Virginia and realizes that her choices are not what she thought they would be in the year 2020. This is is also the Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt & Co. for this advanced reader's copy of Loved and Wanted by Christa Parravani. Wow, wow, wow. What an amazing memoir. I didn't love just because I love memoirs, I loved this because it really spoke to what it is like to be mother, wife, woman in this country right now. This is the story of a woman who gets pregnant in the deep Red state of West Virginia and realizes that her choices are not what she thought they would be in the year 2020. This is is also the story of woman doing everything she can to keep her family afloat, sometimes on her own while her husband works on the other side of the country and sometimes with him in the same house. It will be a very familiar story to many women, I'm sure. This is an extremely important book right now. Many of us who live in big, liberal cities forget that there are still plenty of places that make it difficult for woman to choose how to live her life. I am guilty of that. This book was a wake up call for me and it probably will be for most readers. Pick up this book and remind yourself that we keep pushing so that all women can enjoy the freedoms that right now only some of us do.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    This memoir is a commentary on our healthcare system and its failure to support many women in their reproductive care. This book is about Christa's personal struggles with her own reproductive choices, her fear of adequate healthcare, and the war on control over a woman's body. A big part of this book, regardless of the reproductive angle, is about the day-to-day life, the struggle, and the financial stress that weighs on us as parents. I felt like so much of this book was widely applicable, rega This memoir is a commentary on our healthcare system and its failure to support many women in their reproductive care. This book is about Christa's personal struggles with her own reproductive choices, her fear of adequate healthcare, and the war on control over a woman's body. A big part of this book, regardless of the reproductive angle, is about the day-to-day life, the struggle, and the financial stress that weighs on us as parents. I felt like so much of this book was widely applicable, regardless of any political or religious views on abortion. To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/chr...

  18. 4 out of 5

    SadieReadsAgain

    This is a powerful memoir both of one woman's thwarted attempt to exercise her right to reproductive choice, and of the wider legal and social context of female healthcare in the US. Christa Parravani was a forty year old mother of two trying to make her way in a new career which would give her family much-needed stability, when she discovered that she was pregnant for a third time. Having already taken maternity leave whilst new into the job for her second pregnancy, and with a husband who cont This is a powerful memoir both of one woman's thwarted attempt to exercise her right to reproductive choice, and of the wider legal and social context of female healthcare in the US. Christa Parravani was a forty year old mother of two trying to make her way in a new career which would give her family much-needed stability, when she discovered that she was pregnant for a third time. Having already taken maternity leave whilst new into the job for her second pregnancy, and with a husband who contributed little to the family in terms of either financial or emotional support, she was terrified of what a third child would do to her income, her mental health and her daughters' quality of life. She decided on the option of abortion but quickly found that, whilst legal in West Virginia where she lived, her choice was blocked on all fronts. From health care professionals denying her access, to barriers of cost, travel and time to go further afield, she found herself in the position of continuing the pregnancy. When her son was born, she was further let down by the healthcare system which left her baby unable to properly feed and with pain from an undiagnosed birth injury. Christa's story is a raw indictment of a system which is blighted by religious morality police and unequal access, brought to its knees by a lack of funding and exacerbated by big industry's environmental impact. There's a lot to take in throughout this book, and none of it makes for happy reading - not least that these are the experiences of just one women out of millions, and a woman who was in a more privileged position than many others. As someone looking at this from the outside context from a country of far more equal healthcare provision and access, employment rights and maternity leave/pay (not perfect itself, but for which I'm eternally grateful), this was a jaw-dropping read. I've seen a few people criticise this as not a memoir about abortion rights, but as a thinly veiled dig at a pretty useless husband (who wrote Jarhead : A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles, fact fans. And whom I wanted to give a shake for his disgusting selfishness). I think they're missing a point here - lack of money and partner support are key factors in many women's choices with regards to pregnancy. On the surface, with her professional job and existing children, Christa's case would be held up by anti-abortion types as a selfish choice, one without "reason" for abortion. But this goes to show that without being welcomed in, no one knows what's going on behind closed doors. It illustrates that there is no such thing as a selfish reason, that each choice is a personal one. And perhaps having a more acceptable reason for why she wanted an abortion was what gave Christa the courage to share this very important story. It pains me that someone should have to expose all the flaws in a marriage or family to justify a choice which is legally her right to exercise, and it also pains me to commend someone on their bravery for tackling this subject in the first place. But it is the reality of a life where that right is continually stamped on by people who wont have to shoulder the burden of an unwanted pregnancy and who literally couldn't give a damn about the woman, baby or family once that right has been successfully stripped away. This book is honest and compelling, not just from the facts laid bare but by Parravani's pose. She is an incredible writer and I appreciate that this story was told with someone not only with the bravery to tell it but with exquisite tools with which to do so. I was sent a Netgalley of this title from Bonnier Books UK in return for a review. All opinions my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jules

    Parravani begins her story by discussing her desire to terminate a pregnancy and coming up against huge barriers to do so. Parravani eventually chooses to continue the pregnancy (without really discussing this turning point at all), then goes back and forward and around in time to discuss all her other pregnancies. I should have known that Lisa Taddeo quoted on the cover would be a sign of overly purple prose and an abundance of portmanteaus inside - not my preferred style of writing. When explo Parravani begins her story by discussing her desire to terminate a pregnancy and coming up against huge barriers to do so. Parravani eventually chooses to continue the pregnancy (without really discussing this turning point at all), then goes back and forward and around in time to discuss all her other pregnancies. I should have known that Lisa Taddeo quoted on the cover would be a sign of overly purple prose and an abundance of portmanteaus inside - not my preferred style of writing. When exploring termination options, Parravani is definitely coming from the perspective of a woman who already has children (the majority of women who seek abortion care in the US are mothers) and exclusively frames her discussion from this place. At one stage Parravani lists the reasons women seek to terminate pregnancies but neglects to acknowledge that some people (not just women) get abortions because they don’t want babies, period - not just because they can’t afford a baby, don’t have familial support or can’t take time off work etc. I can imagine this could feel like a judgement to those who have been in this situation. Other reviewers have criticized the voice of the book as being self indulgent. I have to say I agree even though I’m not always sure why - even when discussing significant adversity such as a transient childhood with an emotionally neglectful mother who had multiple abusive relationships, the tone does come across as quite victimized. This carries through to when Parravani has choices available to her - hard ones, but there just the same - and acts as though she is forced into one or the other, rather than acknowledging her agency (albeit limited) in making decisions about her life and family. Parravani uses her story as a case study to explore how incredibly flawed the US healthcare system is. She acknowledges her privileges within this system, but never actually stops to consider the experience of those who don’t share these in any meaningful way. This felt like a lost opportunity to me and probably contributed to the feeling of self indulgence. The story ends just after the birth of the son Parravani initially didn’t want to have, for many valid reasons around concerns of capacity to adequately parent him along with two other children. This plays into the idea that once baby is here, everything falls into place - which just isn’t always true. I wonder how Parravani feels about her decision and what her life looks like now.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    It’s powerfully written. Parravani’s courageous to lay it all out the way she does, raw and honest. And it’s important to be honest about how impossibly hard it is to be a woman, a mother. About the inevitable hard choices and judgement regardless of what’s decided. We need to stop shaming women, inserting morality into healthcare, and give people viable options and opportunities. We need to stop demanding that women justify themselves, as Parravani does throughout this memoir. Because despite t It’s powerfully written. Parravani’s courageous to lay it all out the way she does, raw and honest. And it’s important to be honest about how impossibly hard it is to be a woman, a mother. About the inevitable hard choices and judgement regardless of what’s decided. We need to stop shaming women, inserting morality into healthcare, and give people viable options and opportunities. We need to stop demanding that women justify themselves, as Parravani does throughout this memoir. Because despite the subtitle and blurb, it’s not really a book about living in an anti-choice state. Parravani seems to anticipate her reader’s frustration because she does, in fact, have avenues to end her unplanned pregnancy when she writes: ”The very reasons I wanted that abortion — exhaustion, lack of funds, dimming sense of self- determination and confidence — were the things that made it nearly impossible for me to get one.” Hard, yes. Too hard, absolutely. But not impossible. Also frustrating: her husband. She writes that it’s not a story about him: ”Had my husband been a financially stable and faithful, kind hero, the cost of daycare would have been the same, the potential loss of my career the same, the distance and barriers to reasonable healthcare the same.” Yes, but it would have been better if he had been... well... better. The real white-hot center is about how West Virginia (and other places, too, as seen in her difficult childhood), a staunchly “pro-life” state, fails to protect women and children. Parravani writes about the overdoses, the policies that don’t protect renters, the environmental contamination that led to one of her daughters being born with kidney problems (and then the antibiotics that rotted her teeth), the salaries that aren’t enough to live on, the lack of support for caregivers, the overcrowded hospital where she gave birth, the medical team that didn’t diagnose her son’s broken clavicle or deformed mouth, etc. The list goes on for all the ways the people in power and the policies they create and enforce aren’t safeguarding life. The blatant hypocrisy should enrage us all.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christie Bane

    This is a difficult book to review because while I really enjoyed the writing, and I am fascinated by the subject matter, I was also left dissatisfied by the ending. The book is about the author’s experience with family life, beginning with an abortion during her college years and ending with the birth of her third child. She did not want a third child and tried to get an abortion, but was unable to because of where she lived (West-by-God Virginia, which... no way, never, that’s all I can say). This is a difficult book to review because while I really enjoyed the writing, and I am fascinated by the subject matter, I was also left dissatisfied by the ending. The book is about the author’s experience with family life, beginning with an abortion during her college years and ending with the birth of her third child. She did not want a third child and tried to get an abortion, but was unable to because of where she lived (West-by-God Virginia, which... no way, never, that’s all I can say). Her son ended up having some what seem to be moderately serious medical concerns, although I was never quite sure whether those could be blamed on West Virginia’s environmental issues, or were just somehow a result of the fact that she wanted an abortion and « should have » gotten one, but wasn’t. She seems to be both happy with her third child and angry that he was born with medical concerns, but again I was left hanging a little with regard to how serious the medical concerns are, how her child was as he grew up, what her feelings were as he got older as to whether she really wished she had had an abortion or not, et cetera. And maybe she didn’t know all of that when she wrote this, but one thing I think I know about memoir is that it’s supposed to be reflection and is supposed to be written from a distance in time where the writer can analyze a little better. I read the audio version of this book and I thought the narrator was fine, not great and not terrible, no effect on my rating of the book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    Such a brave thing to write about so openly and honestly! It's actually frightening how limited women's rights to choose are in America (only getting worse not better under Trump, hopefully that will change but I'm not holding my breath now that we've lost RBG on the supreme court). Living in the South in America the author had very few options to terminate a pregnancy she didn't feel she could afford or mentally handle (already having two children, a work away from home father, being in her 40s Such a brave thing to write about so openly and honestly! It's actually frightening how limited women's rights to choose are in America (only getting worse not better under Trump, hopefully that will change but I'm not holding my breath now that we've lost RBG on the supreme court). Living in the South in America the author had very few options to terminate a pregnancy she didn't feel she could afford or mentally handle (already having two children, a work away from home father, being in her 40s and trying to advance her career). She ultimately does decide (or really, is forced due to lack of options) to carry the child to term. The second half of the book details just how poor the healthcare system is for new mothers (her baby was born with a broken clavicle that was not caught until much much later, he had latch issues and high bilirubin levels and she was essentially forced to take him home and figure things out on her own). The experience we have in Canada is so FAR from this I can't even imagine having to handle a newborn with the lack of support she had. The story really makes you appreciate how wonderful our healthcare system is in Canada.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    Christa Parravani was in a troubled marriage and in a mountain of debt when she faces an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 40. A mother already to two young children, Christa decides she wants an abortion. Christa is living in West Virginia at the time, and faces obstacle after obstacle to obtain an abortion. When her son is born with complications, she faces more obstacles when attempting to find specialty care for him. This wasn’t always an easy book to read, but not for the reasons you may th Christa Parravani was in a troubled marriage and in a mountain of debt when she faces an unplanned pregnancy at the age of 40. A mother already to two young children, Christa decides she wants an abortion. Christa is living in West Virginia at the time, and faces obstacle after obstacle to obtain an abortion. When her son is born with complications, she faces more obstacles when attempting to find specialty care for him. This wasn’t always an easy book to read, but not for the reasons you may think. I haven’t read a book this raw, angry, and unflinchingly honest in a long time. Christa pulls no punches regarding her marriage, motherhood, and being a woman in a conservative state. I found myself wanting to underline some of her affirmations about womanhood and living in a small town. I’m pro choice, and I was outraged on behalf of the way Christa was treated by medical professionals. When she moves to California for a time, she describes the different options available to her that were non-existent in West Virginia. This is a important commentary on reproductive healthcare in the US and how we as a nation need to do better for ALL women.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    Christa Parravani wrote a fascinating book about being a woman, the choices we make and why, and the impact of poverty on motherhood. When Parravani was pregnant with her third child, she decided to have an abortion, but couldn't find anyone in her West Virginia town. Despite being highly educated, her university salary barely gets her and her family by, and she knows the impact a third child will bring. She goes on to have and love her baby, but his health suffers from the health care she receive Christa Parravani wrote a fascinating book about being a woman, the choices we make and why, and the impact of poverty on motherhood. When Parravani was pregnant with her third child, she decided to have an abortion, but couldn't find anyone in her West Virginia town. Despite being highly educated, her university salary barely gets her and her family by, and she knows the impact a third child will bring. She goes on to have and love her baby, but his health suffers from the health care she received there. The book is full of statements about what it is to be a woman in the south, the impacts of misogyny and poverty. She is able to draw parallels with the life she leads during the summers she spend in LA where her husband works for TV, and describe the differences (better healthcare.) This is a great statement on our larger society and makes us think about how we need to continue to advocate for women's rights and the freedom to live the way we want. Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for a free review!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Taggio

    Loved and Wanted deals with motherhood and pregnancy against the backdrop of US state-by-state restrictions that limit women's reproductive rights which have worsened during Trump's tenure as President. This novel is a memoir of the time the author found herself with an un-planned pregnancy, two young children, money worries and a less than supportive husband. The judgmental and unhelpful comments of the medical professionals involved is staggering and the way in which Women are simply brushed a Loved and Wanted deals with motherhood and pregnancy against the backdrop of US state-by-state restrictions that limit women's reproductive rights which have worsened during Trump's tenure as President. This novel is a memoir of the time the author found herself with an un-planned pregnancy, two young children, money worries and a less than supportive husband. The judgmental and unhelpful comments of the medical professionals involved is staggering and the way in which Women are simply brushed aside and essentially just told to get on with it is a damning indictment of a monetised medical system. Indeed, it is shocking to discover that Medicaid does not cover termination of a pregnancy leaving women to find thousands of dollars to fund one themselves, that is if they can even find a medical professional who will perform it. The authors writing style took a while to get used to - she uses short, choppy sentences - but overall an interesting insight into what it is like to be a woman in the US.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy Herbert

    A heartbreaking book to read, but a book worthy of the time. Although it's only a slim volume, it's a heavy one to digest. Loved and Wanted recounts Christa Parravani's third unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, her fight for access to a termination, and then for adequate care for her son. It's also the story of a marriage and how grief can echo so strongly from the past that you hear it as if it was fresh. The central tenet of the book is that you can both want and love your child and want access t A heartbreaking book to read, but a book worthy of the time. Although it's only a slim volume, it's a heavy one to digest. Loved and Wanted recounts Christa Parravani's third unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, her fight for access to a termination, and then for adequate care for her son. It's also the story of a marriage and how grief can echo so strongly from the past that you hear it as if it was fresh. The central tenet of the book is that you can both want and love your child and want access to abortion. She handles the topic with aching tenderness and hard facts. You do not deny your children a mother's love because you want those same children to grow up and have access to safe affordable medical care and agency over their own bodies and lives. I recommend this book mostly for mothers, but it would also be an eye opening read for others. The most powerful line for me was at the end. Parravani writes: "What will my children want when they're older - a mother who played nice, or a mother who fought?"

  27. 4 out of 5

    El

    NetGalley eARC - thanks to the publishers for letting me try this book. DNF. I've read some more academic feminist accounts of abortion/abortion rights theory recently and they resonated more with me than what I read of this, which was more of an account of a her struggles with her marriage and the abuse she faced in her past than I was anticipating. That's fine, I am not from the U.S. and am in a country with (for the moment) decent public healthcare, so didn't feel it was worth getting progress NetGalley eARC - thanks to the publishers for letting me try this book. DNF. I've read some more academic feminist accounts of abortion/abortion rights theory recently and they resonated more with me than what I read of this, which was more of an account of a her struggles with her marriage and the abuse she faced in her past than I was anticipating. That's fine, I am not from the U.S. and am in a country with (for the moment) decent public healthcare, so didn't feel it was worth getting progressively angrier at the U.S. healthcare system for what it is. I do think it would be important to read if you live in the U.S. states where abortion is more accessible. Also if you've read this I would recommend Without Apology by Jenny Brown for more of an academic (but accessible) look at why abortion rights are so important and why they have become so contentious.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cherie

    One of the best memoirs I've read in a while - and such an important one! A mother with two young daughters, a tough career as a college professor, a husband who doesn't help out enough and doesn't make much money, gets pregnant. Living in West Virginia (and a newbie to the state), she struggles to find access to an abortion. And unable to find a way, she ends up having her baby, who she ultimately loves. But the struggle is real. Parravani shows the incredible difficulty that mothers in our cou One of the best memoirs I've read in a while - and such an important one! A mother with two young daughters, a tough career as a college professor, a husband who doesn't help out enough and doesn't make much money, gets pregnant. Living in West Virginia (and a newbie to the state), she struggles to find access to an abortion. And unable to find a way, she ends up having her baby, who she ultimately loves. But the struggle is real. Parravani shows the incredible difficulty that mothers in our country - even mothers with some means - have. Such an important book. How many babies are born, not totally wanted, and ultimately loved - and some are not ultimately loved. Just so powerful. Any mother will identify with many of her struggles.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Zuri

    This is a pretty good memoir. I listened to it on audiobook it is read by the author, and she is a pretty good reader. I haven’t read anything by her before but she is a writing professor so it’s well-written account of her experience of an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy while she already has two children with her husband. It’s also about abortion, marriage and family dynamics, America (a lot of it takes place in West Virginia, a state I’ve never given a single thought to) and it was a very emotio This is a pretty good memoir. I listened to it on audiobook it is read by the author, and she is a pretty good reader. I haven’t read anything by her before but she is a writing professor so it’s well-written account of her experience of an unwanted/unplanned pregnancy while she already has two children with her husband. It’s also about abortion, marriage and family dynamics, America (a lot of it takes place in West Virginia, a state I’ve never given a single thought to) and it was a very emotional with read, Parravani was going through it. Her husband was characterized so badly, I don’t know if they’re still together but he sucked so it was kind of uncomfortable listening to her talk about him.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zhuo Zhang

    Oh Christa, you've written all about motherhood and especially becoming motherhood!! This memoir is very sincere, honest and moving and BEAUTIFULLY written. Usually it is hard for me to find connection in other people's memoir (at least less than I can find in fiction), yet this book, I can feel it - the choice that a woman needs to have - to be a mother or not be a mother, the hesitation, the desperation due to lack of choice, the longing and the fear to be a mother, the constant worries of a m Oh Christa, you've written all about motherhood and especially becoming motherhood!! This memoir is very sincere, honest and moving and BEAUTIFULLY written. Usually it is hard for me to find connection in other people's memoir (at least less than I can find in fiction), yet this book, I can feel it - the choice that a woman needs to have - to be a mother or not be a mother, the hesitation, the desperation due to lack of choice, the longing and the fear to be a mother, the constant worries of a mother, the helplessness of not being able to help her children as a mother, the disappointment towards her husband, the strength she has to present and possess as a mom. I believe every mom who reads this book will find her connection.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.