Heartfelt And Intriguing Tale That You Still Want To Throw Out The Nearest Window. This is truly a heartfelt and intriguing tale that explores the ethics, legalities, and emotions of both sides of an issue that is close enough to being all-too-real as to be scary. In this era of IVF, frozen eggs/ embryos, surrogate parents, and similar and related concepts, the central premise here of a lab screw up resulting in one couples’ embryo being implanted into nd successfully borne by a complete stranger… is truly scarily plausible, at minimum. Wiesner does a truly phenomenal job throughout this tale of showing the very real questions and emotions of such an issue from nearly every (female) angle – emotional, legal, ethical, relational, etc. The male characters… are a bit more one dimensional and lacking. They work well enough for the purposes of this story, but they’re never given the thought or care that the female characters are.
And yet, that isn’t what actually makes you want to throw this book out the nearest window. *That* comes from just how desperate both of these women are to have kids, that they’ll put themselves and everyone around them through such trauma and drama. I understand the perils of the childless, to a point. But as someone who is happily child *free* (yes, there is a difference – the “less” are those such as the women here that can never let go of the desire to have children, the “free” are those who have chosen to not have kids or who have embraced and celebrate that they will never have kids)… I admit that I’ll never understand the childless crowd. There is so *much* to be said about being childfree and how satisfying and fulfilling the childfree life can be, and Wiesner’s tale here shows just how fraught and horrifying the childless life can be.
But that last paragraph was a bit of a digression. Seriously, Wiesner does a phenomenal job here with the tale she has chosen to tell, to the level that it is abundantly clear that she herself is somewhere in the less/ free space or is *close* to someone who is. Very much recommended.
This review of Our Stolen Child by Melissa Wiesner was originally written on September 9, 2022.