Flesh & Blood: Reflections on Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life

Algonquin. Oct. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781643750705. $25.95. MEMOIR
After short story writer Moss (Subway Stops at Bryant Park) begins bleeding uncontrollably, a round of hospital visits and testing return a diagnosis of uterine hemangioma and a recommended solution of a hysterectomy. This memoir of Moss’s surgery and recovery explores infertility, miscarriage, and women’s experiences of health care and gives an equal amount of space to the healing and joy the author finds in the world around her (including her house’s resident praying mantis) and reflections on her relationships with her mother, who shepherds Moss through her slow recovery, and her grandmother, a former New Orleans belle who offered Moss a calm space when she was young and overwhelmed. Moss’s meditations on questions her experience have raised are full of calm maturity and quiet humor and give this book an appeal beyond its expected audience. How does one find peace when their body turns against them? How does one carry their grief? Who holds a family’s secrets and stories when the lineage comes to an end?
VERDICT This memoir is full of sensitive thoughts on childlessness and infertility. Moss’s contemplations on life in general will resonate with women who are seeking peace and meaning in their own lives.
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