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

Holt. Nov. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9781250756848. $26.99. SOC SCI
Parravani (Her: A Memoir) begins her luminous, complex story with a memory—one that is visceral, yet metaphoric and sets the tone for this work, which proves a welcome addition to women’s narratives with its willingness to address poverty, sexuality, spirituality, and the difficult choices women are forced to make when navigating oppressive systems. Parravani then moves from the childhood memory to the central narrative: an unplanned pregnancy at age 40 that she wanted to terminate but was unable to because of the ways in which health care and medical regulations in her home state deterred her until she ended up too far along into her pregnancy for an abortion to be an option. She eloquently tells of her marriage and raising two children on set incomes, along with the fears and worries of providing for an additional child.
VERDICT In a time when the wars waged on women’s sexual bodies are happening in multiple, intersecting ways, especially through individual organizations and agencies’ attempts to stop women from asking for or receiving what they are legally allowed to request, Parravani’s story is cautionary and a call to action; as personal as it is political.
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