Monday, July 20, 2009

Review: What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen

Book Info:
What I Thought I Knew by Alice Eve Cohen
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (July 9, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780670020959
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 5/5

At age forty-four, Alice Eve Cohen was happy for the first time in years. After a difficult divorce, she was engaged to an inspiring man, joyfully raising her adopted daughter, and her career was blossoming. Alice tells her fiance that she's never been happier.

And then the stomach pains begin. In her unflinchingly honest and ruefully witty voice, Alice nimbly carries us through her metamorphosis from a woman who has come to terms with infertility to one who struggles to love a heartbeat found in her womb, six months into a high-risk pregnancy.

What I Thought I Knew is a page-turner filled with vivid characters, humor, and many surprises and twists of fate. With the suspense of a thriller and the intimacy of a diary, Cohen describes her unexpected journey through doubt, a broken medical system, and the hotly contested terrain of motherhood and family in today's society.

I read a lot of memoirs, and I've honestly been in a bit of a slump with them lately. Even books that I'd thought I'd love have just been ok for me. I haven't read a memoir that has kept my attention all the way to the end in quite a while. When I picked this one up last night, I wasn't expecting too much, but was very happily surprised.

Cohen's writing flows amazingly well. I originally sat down in my hammock and planned on only reading a few chapters. Before I knew it, I was halfway through the book. I only got up to move inside because it had gotten too dark to read outside. Her voice is honest, wistful at times and even included a few laughs. She sets the perfect tone for the telling of her amazing story.

The smooth writing along with an incredible story made What I Thought I Knew a book I couldn't put down. Cohen is brutally honest in telling her story. As the story unfolded I almost expected to dislike Cohen, but that was never the case. She simply came across as a very conflicted woman trying to do the best she could with a completely unexpected situation. I highly recommend this one, even for those readers who usually don't read non-fiction. 5 stars


Cindy said...

I usually don't read non-fiction but this sounds pretty good :) Glad you liked it!

Harvee said...

Hi! I've given you The Friendship/Let's Be Friends Award. You can head on over and pick it up at my blog,

Sandy Nawrot said...

WOW! 5 stars is a big deal for you! I need to get my hands on this one. I went through all kinds of crazy stuff to have my two little angels, and can relate to this type of drama. Even better that it is a memoir!

Anna said...

I hadn't heard of this one, but I'll have to look for it. Sounds like a great read.

Diary of an Eccentric

Jenny said...

This looks really good! I will definitely be looking for this one.

Sheila DeChantal said...

Wow - great review and sounds like a great read!

Tara said...

Wow - this sounds good! Your enthusiasm for this book comes through your review and I am going to add this to this list!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Melissa,...what a great review. I've jotted this title down ; thanks.

Zibilee said...

I love memoirs, and after reading your review I think this is a must read for me. Thanks for the great review!

Laughing Stars said...

This is a beautiful review. It must take courage to write about your own life in a brutally honest way. I don't know whether I could do it.