||Red Rose Publishing
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom.
Buy Now at Red Rose Publishing
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women’s lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients’ dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents’ deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
"I'm ready!" Summer sprinted from the bathroom, where she had just rinsed her mouth with her favorite cinnamon-flavored mouthwash and inserted her diaphragm. It was probably overkill, since she also wore a birth control patch, but she refused to take any chances.
Summer sped through the condo, running through rooms all lined up in a row, from the tiny antiquated bathroom through the eat-in kitchen with her grandmother's old Formica table and vinyl chairs, then past Jeremy's hideous bachelor sofa that dominated the living room. Some people called the condo a railroad flat while others called it shotgun-style. She liked the former description better; it sounded less violent. Although, she supposed, she would have a greater chance of dodging a bullet racing through her home than she would of escaping a train barreling through it.
Summer dashed past the entrance of the small study alcove off the living room and into the bedroom where Jeremy waited. She pounced on the finest mattress and linens – her and Jeremy's sole splurge.
Eagerly, she wrapped her arms and legs around Jeremy. She expected him to return her playfulness, but tonight he pulled away from their tight embrace and held her at arm's length, his hands on her shoulders. His hair, so black it looked blue, always captivated Summer. His eyes, equally alluring in their darkness, were solemn.
"We have to talk," he said.
"Now? What is it?" she asked.
Summer untangled herself from him and pulled up the patchwork quilt. Jeremy swallowed hard, but still he said nothing.
Summer said, "Tell me. It can't be that bad." She combed his dark bangs with her fingers.
He cleared his throat.
"Jeremy, tell me. You're making me nervous," she said.
"Okay," he said, "here goes." He cleared his throat again, and then said, "Summer, I've never told you that," his speech accelerated, "I'm adopted."
"What?" she asked.
"I'm adopted," he repeated. "That's why I want us to have a baby so badly."
She released a chuckle, feeling a great sense of relief. "That's your big secret? Oh, Jeremy, you had me scared out of my mind." She moved closer to him. "I was thinking, some horrible disease, or you used to be a woman," she said and then laughed, adding, "I guess I wonder, though, why you didn't tell me before."
Jeremy's face looked pale and tense. His normally sonorous voice became tinny. "I remember when I was five years old. Two neighbors from down the street, both mothers of big families. Between them they had nine children. They gossiped on the playground at my school while I was bouncing up and down on a seesaw with my friend. Maybe they didn't know I was there, but I heard them clear as anything. They were talking about a local couple planning to adopt a baby and one said, 'I would rather be childless than to adopt someone else's problem.' Problem! Can you believe it? I was only five, but I knew I was adopted. From that day on, I vowed never to tell anyone. It's none of their business."
Summer pressed her hand against Jeremy's shoulder, guiding him to rest on the bed again. He didn't budge. She kissed him and asked, "Adopted?"
"Yes," he confirmed.
"So you're telling me now? As foreplay?" she asked, laughing aloud.
Then he relaxed into a smile and said, "I know it may not seem like such a big deal, but it is to me. I really want to have a baby so I can know someone who is part of me. I want my children to feel certain they're wanted. Plus, I've never had the experience of knowing someone biologically related to me. You need to be sure, too." He brushed her cheek with the back of his hand. "I have no idea what's in my genes. Hell, someday our kids could look like…like the jolly green giant – nothing like either one of us. You would wonder, right?" Jeremy retreated.
"That doesn't matter to me." Summer scooted closer to him. She contemplated how seriously Jeremy took this. How could he worry about this when having a child was years away? Summer felt positive she would be concerned about giving birth to a healthy baby when the time came, and not how much the baby looked like her or Jeremy.
Jeremy's confession brought them closer together. He shared with her what he believed to be his deepest, most intimate secret. Jeremy smiled, revealing clean, white teeth. The top two front teeth overlapped just enough to make him look real, not like an airbrushed GQ type. Summer's freckled nose rested against Jeremy's nose. When she looked into his eyes from that vantage point, she spied his heavy, neat eyebrows. His chin felt smooth against her chin.
Jeremy smiled. "The thought of you having my baby just thrills me. We could have a son or daughter with your gorgeous eyes, silky hair, and my golf swing; or with your long legs, my black hair and flair for logic. It's phenomenal no matter how I imagine it. Plus, whoever our baby is, that little boy or girl will be the first person biologically related to me I'll ever meet. It'll be great." He looked unsure for a moment. "Don't you think?"
A Journey of Books
DOUBLE OUT AND BACK by Lisa Leibow is a definite must read for women, especially mothers and those trying to become mothers. Taking a look at infertility and the societal pressure surrounding families and parenthood, Leibow gives us a beautiful and compelling story. Even though she's working with a sensitive topic, Leibow does so with amazing grace and sincerity. I highly recommend this book as I, myself, loved it.
Double Out and Back by Lisa Leibow
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Pages: 496 (eBook)
ISBN +13: 9781604353655
My Recommended Age Group: Older Young Adult to Adult
Released: August 13, 2009
Other work: Published Works
From Red Rose Publishing:
Not every woman who rides the fertility treatment roller coaster winds up like Octomom!
Who will find friends, family, and fertility?
Three women's lives are intricately intertwined, as Amelia Schwartz and Summer Curtis struggle with the complex dynamics of intrafamily embryo adoption, and Chandy Markum strives to make her patients' dreams a reality.
After more than a decade, of mourning her parents' deaths, anal-retentive Amelia Schwartz decides to take control of her life, pursuing single motherhood via embryo adoption. While her fertility doctor, Chandy, is preoccupied with the destruction of the cosmopolitan Cape Town of her youth and her first love in apartheid-torn South Africa, believing all is lost, her niece, a young, married, overachieving attorney Summer Curtis, juggles zealous career ambitions, demanding bosses, and friction with her husband over family and fertility issues. They must confront the painful reality that, no matter what technology humans devise to manipulate reproduction, prolong life, and construct family units, they have not yet mastered control over their beginnings and endings.
Thrown all into this is one story that can make or break. Are you up to it?
There really is nothing better than finding a great book and I am glad to say that DOUBLE OUT AND BACK met that for me. This was a lovely read and one that I'm sure I will revisit often.
In DOUBLE OUT AND BACK, we get to visit Summer and Amelia as they make some reproductive and family planning choices. Chandy is the doctor whose mission in life is to help women achieve their dreams of motherhood. Reproductive technologies are becoming more and more complex, allowing many women to attain motherhood that would not have been able to without that help. Although the technology is there to help, many people don't look highly upon women that either choose to or need to use it. Leibow gives us a look into society and the images surrounding reproductive technology while at the same time giving us a look into the minds of each of the women we follow.
That was probably my favorite aspect of the book: being able to see how society saw reproductive technology while at the same time seeing how it affected the women involved with it. Leibow's book is so close to reality for many women that I have a hard time seeing how people could not be affected by her writing. I found her story captivating and at times even a little addicting. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, tension makes a book. The entire premise of Leibow's book is already full of tension, but she goes a few steps beyond and sprinkles tension throughout the pages of DOUBLE OUT AND BACK, creating a book that was seriously hard to put down. I would find myself finishing one chapter and saying, "Okay, time to go to bed." The next think I know, I'm walking upstairs to go pass out and I'm reading while I'm walking. It takes a truly great book to risk life and limb in order to not miss a single moment.
Leibow's character development was superb. In a story like this, where the people really make the story, character development is key. Without it, we have a good retelling of an interesting idea, but not something that's going to move people or instill some sort of emotion in them. Leibow worked this wonderfully. Not only do we get to see the emotional toll on both Amelia and Summer, but we get a good look at Chandy's story as well. Each character has their own background and special kick that makes them unique while Leibow is still able to pull the characters together and create a cohesive story out of them.
The last thing that I really need to mention about DOUBLE OUT AND BACK is the writing style. I found DOUBLE OUT AND BACK very easy to read and follow along with. Some of my favorite books would not be classified as easy to read although the stories are superb. It's obvious that Leibow put a lot of time and energy into making DOUBLE OUT AND BACK the best book that it could be. I was glad that in a book full of emotional strains and stresses I didn't have to fight with the words to journey along in the story. Instead, it was more like floating along quite fluidly across the pages as I got the chance to have an adventure with the characters.
Overall: 58/60 - A
Book Cover: 2/3
DOUBLE OUT AND BACK was a wonderful book and would be great for a variety of readers. With current controversy, relationship issues and a fair amount of drama, this is a story that brings entertainment as well as an emotional roller coaster. I recommend this to anyone looking for something to curl up with and any woman curious about the workings of life.
Cafe of Dreams
Simply put, Double Out and Back is highly addictive and engrossing. It is a story which touches on a multitude of aspects that many women face and takes the desire of motherhood and/or career goals to a whole new level. Infertility is a painful and often time torturous endeavor for several women - be it alone or with their spouse or significant other. That being said, author Lisa Lipkind Leibow does a fabulous job bringing this roller coaster ride to life, upon the pages of Double Out and Back.
I have to admit that in the beginning, I did not have a very positive feeling for one of the main characters, Summer. To me, she seemed rather on the selfish side, though many would take her attitude at extremely career driven, which is fine, just seemed a bit extreme to me. Saying that, Lisa Lipkind Leibow does an amazing job bringing her characters to life and making the reader become so engrossed with them that personal feelings become entwined. This was the experience that I had with Double Out and Back, in any case. To me, this is an amazing feeling and so incredible to be able to get so into a novel that you feel as though you know the characters themselves.
After getting deeper into the story, my dislike for Summer was turned into sympathy and I was able to relate to her on many levels. Infertility is such a painful and emotionally tolling thing to go through. Double Out and Back tells the story of three incredible women and their role and experience with motherhood and desired motherhood. Chandy, the fertility specialist, has her own background story intertwined within the main story, which is compelling within itself. While helping woman make their dreams come true, she is fighting her own demons and memories that hold her tightly within their grasp. Amelia is the third of the trio of women, which Double Out and Back focuses on. I truly enjoyed her character as well. There were often times I just wanted to reach within the book and wrap my arms around her, in a consoling hug. Losing her parents and not having that "typical" family structure of her own, as she nears forty is taking a trying turn on Amalia. She is feeling that twinge of motherhood coursing through her, as time ticks away and she is afraid her chances are going right along with it.
Double Out and Back is a deeply incredible story and one that will keep you up late into the night reading. This is a story that not only captivated my heart, but also tugged at my heartstrings. I greatly look forward to more from this talented and awesome author, Lisa Lipkind Leibow! If you haven't checked out Double Out and Back yet, be sure to do so in the very near future - you will be so glad that you did!
*overall rating 4.5/5
Want to review or comment on this
Click here to login!
Need a FREE Reader Membership?
Click here for your Membership!