Detransition, Baby

Books on Tape. Jan. 2021. 352p. 12:32 hrs. ISBN 9780593289495. Audio. $95. F
Peters’s debut is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, gut-punching and captivating story, in which listeners want to cheer and embrace the characters one moment, and tell them off in the next. Here, three people try to define the concept of family when confronted with an unplanned pregnancy. There’s Reese, a transgender woman who always longed to be a mother; Katrina, a cisgender woman who’s grappling with whether to keep the baby; and Ames, who lived for six years as a transgender woman before “detransitioning,” going back to the gender he was assigned at birth. Ames proposes that he, Reese (his ex), and Katrina (his current lover) raise the child together. It’s a wonderful tale to listen to, especially with Renata Friedman’s artful narration.
VERDICT The buzz surrounding Peters’s novel is well-deserved. The further listeners get into the story, the more they’ll appreciate the complex characters struggling to define the concept of parenthood.
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