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Unexpected Child: A Novel Paperback – Dec 1 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Alyson Books (Dec 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555835449
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555835446
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,019,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Readers know from the beginning of this warm, consistently interesting third novel that its main character, Meg Krantz, a New York ceramist and volunteer for an AIDS organization, will end up adopting Kimble Toffler, the orphaned 4-year-old daughter of one of the men she has been assigned to help. Even as his bouts of illness have worsened, Barry Toffler has maintained a superstitious fear of wills and guardianship papers, certain that as soon as he decides who should care for Kimble, he will drop dead. He watches the growing closeness between Meg and Kimble, and then, while dying, uses his remaining strength to scribble a note on a hospital napkin requesting that Kimble never be allowed to live with her loving but neglectful grandmother. Whether Meg, who had never planned on motherhood, can become all that Kimble needs depends largely on how she resolves her own troubled relationship with her chic, repressive mother, who has often expressed disappointment at Meg's lesbianism and her unadorned lifestyle, as well as her adopted grandmother: her hardheaded therapist, Libby. Unexpected Child is a subtle examination of a significant life change, partly willed and partly fated. --Regina Marler

From Publishers Weekly

Adopting a child is difficult enough, but for New Yorker Meg KrantzDa 37-year-old single, self-employed lesbianDit seems next to impossible. Grossman (Inventions in a Grieving House), who's a supervising editor at Scholastic Inc., sets out to wrench hearts with her protagonist's therapy-driven quest to become a mother in this nontraditional family drama. As a volunteer for REACH, a nonprofit organization that assists AIDS victims and their families, Meg makes the mistake of getting personally involved with newly orphaned four-year-old Kimble Toffler. Surprised and pleased by the awakening of her maternal instincts, Meg is unsure whether she will be able to sacrifice her independent lifestyle. With the help of therapist Libby Zindel, Meg realizes that she has spent her life trying to please her disapproving, widowed mother, Charlotte, and that she must stop being someone else's daughter if she wants to be a needy child's mother. With the exception of the amusingly wry and emotional Meg, the characters, particularly Kimble and Charlotte, are cardboard cutouts. Kimble's ethereal looks are described in much detail, yet she has a phantom personality. Too late, Charlotte is revealed to be more than a privileged, prickly mother; her superficiality about material goods and people hides a more complex, intriguing persona that is abruptly revealed, then left unexamined. Grossman's third adult novel (she is also the author of two award-winning children's books) is a fast, easy read, if lacking in substance. Its themes are general enough to appeal to a wide readership, but its core audience will likely be gay and lesbian. (Dec.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Format: Paperback
I'm really glad I didn't let the cutesy cover photo of a pink-cheeked baby keep me from reading this book. A friend of mine highly recommended it, but the picture on the cover was a real turn-off and made me think that the story and the writing would be simplistic and sentimental. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. This book tells a complicated and layered story. The way it's written is subtle and deep. And if you believe, as I do, that AIDS is far from over in America (even though most people would rather forget about it), then you'll want to read this moving and vivid novel.
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Format: Paperback
This is a smart and gracefully written novel that presents a complicated mother-daughter relationship without the usual cliches, an earlier period of the AIDS epidemic without any reductive portraits, and the complicated inner life of a woman in transition whose actions and choices are at times surprising and always interesting. And it includes an extremely convincing child character and a final scene that leaves a reader poised to continue thinking about the characters and the story.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Not the usual tale Jan. 14 2001
By Claire Samuels - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a smart and gracefully written novel that presents a complicated mother-daughter relationship without the usual cliches, an earlier period of the AIDS epidemic without any reductive portraits, and the complicated inner life of a woman in transition whose actions and choices are at times surprising and always interesting. And it includes an extremely convincing child character and a final scene that leaves a reader poised to continue thinking about the characters and the story.
Don't judge this one by its cover April 21 2001
By Michael Janoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'm really glad I didn't let the cutesy cover photo of a pink-cheeked baby keep me from reading this book. A friend of mine highly recommended it, but the picture on the cover was a real turn-off and made me think that the story and the writing would be simplistic and sentimental. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. This book tells a complicated and layered story. The way it's written is subtle and deep. And if you believe, as I do, that AIDS is far from over in America (even though most people would rather forget about it), then you'll want to read this moving and vivid novel.


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