When I was offered the chance to review The Baby Book by Robin Silbergleid I jumped at the chance, both because she’s a friend who’s been through an awful lot on the reproductive front, and also because she’s an amazing writer, and I’m always looking for a way to get more poetry into my TBR pile. I’m lazy like that- while I enjoy reading poetry, I don’t always go seek it out the way I should, and here someone’s offering to drop a book of poetry into my lap? I’m IN!
I expected it would be well-written, because, as mentioned, she’s an amazing writer (and more importantly, her words resonate with me even on blog posts. There are plenty of good writers out there whose work leaves me cold. Hers speaks to me.)
What I didn’t expect was the emotional punch it would carry. Having been through a lot of what she writes about, having witnessed much of her journey-to-motherhood as it happened, the book was stunning, both in its beauty and in its devastating ability to bring me back to a time in my life I thought I’d pretty much blocked from my mind.
This is not a complaint. Just a testament to the power of her words.
Had I found this book while I was still in the midst of my own IVF horror, this slim book most likely would have become my touchstone, my guide, a map I would use to try to illustrate my experience for others. I would have handed my dog-eared copy to friends who were earnestly trying to understand my grief & exultation, my terror and jubilation. “Read page fifty. That’s what I really mean to say. Now read the third poem. Read the one where she names her daughter ‘Hannah’.”
But of course, I’m past that devastating time in my life (as long as–apparently–I choose not to think about it.) Most of my real-life friends these days have no idea what I went through six years ago. I no longer need a field guide to those emotions, those awful days, where all I wanted was a map to show me the way out.
So what I’d like is to see this book in every RE’s office. This book of poetry (with the subtly gorgeous cover!) would have been so much more welcome to find on a side table in a waiting room than the latest copy of ‘Parents’ or an ancient edition of ‘Runner’s World.’ That probably won’t happen, but I can dream. And in the meantime, anyone who’s going through this, or who knows someone who is, this is an important book. Terrifying. Horrifying. Beautiful.
Just like baby-making, for those of us for whom it does not come easily.
The publisher is CavanKerry Press, (www.cavankerrypress.org or www.upne.com) and I’ve also found it available for pre-order on Amazon (link above, & know that I do receive advertising fees from Amazon if you purchase anything through this link) or Barnes and Noble. Publication date is November 3, 2015.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review.