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Picks and Pans Review: Waiting for Daisy

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by Peggy Orenstein

REVIEWED BY JUDITH NEWMAN

CRITIC’S CHOICE

MEMOIR

Just when you think there is no more to say about the comedy and tragedy of infertility, Peggy Orenstein comes along and changes your mind. This may be the most honest book written about the tsunami of emotion that hits women when what should come most naturally—reproduction—becomes instead one vast, expensive science experiment, and one more likely to fail than not. Orenstein—whose obsession with getting pregnant (after breast cancer and the loss of an ovary, no less) almost derails her career, her marriage and her sanity—is terrific at exploring the struggle of the intellect and the heart: As a feminist, she’s always said she won’t be defined by motherhood, but there she is in the bathroom, frantically poking her insides to determine if today’s cervical mucous is “gorgeous.” With its startlingly mundane happy ending, Daisy is a fine meditation on what it means to live a fulfilled life.

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