I Cannot Control Everything Forever: A Memoir of Motherhood, Science, and Art

St. Martin’s. Apr. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250285683. $28. MEMOIR
Bloom (literature, Sarah Lawrence Coll.; The Wireless Past: Anglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931–1968) shares her journey into and through motherhood, with candid conversations about IVF, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, gene editing, and pregnancy tests. She frames each section with the history and background of the procedure, science, or philosophy it focuses on. She peppers imagery from Greek mythology, literature, and science throughout the narrative, giving readers context with which to navigate the competing mantras that bombard many parents of today. Part of Bloom’s story takes place during the start of the COVID pandemic, when her family’s stress levels were, relatably, high. A moving part of the book is when Bloom describes the joy of having a daughter and then the numerous medical appointments that arose from her child’s dual diagnoses of congenital deafness and type I diabetes.
VERDICT This memoir’s intellectual, grounded tone enables readers to go along with the author as she explores the joy and despondency that coexist within modern parenting, plus the sheer exhaustion and helplessness of advocating for someone (in this case, one’s child) who can’t yet advocate for themselves. A perfect fit for fans of Dani Shapiro’s work.
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