Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: "What I Thought I Knew" by Alice Eve Cohen

Alice Eve Cohen is finally at a place in her life where she is happy. She has survived a bitter divorce, is happily raising her adopted daughter, Julia, and is in a good relationship with her new boyfriend, Michael. When she begins experiencing unusual symptoms such a bloated abdomen and a sore body she goes to the doctor fearing the worst, cancer, but instead finds out that she is almost six months pregnant. Having been told that she would never be able to conceive, Alice is shocked by the diagnosis. She has had no prenatal care, she's on hormone drugs that could potentially harm the baby, and her insurance doesn't cover high-risk pregnancy.

As Alice embarks on a tumultuous pregnancy she finds herself at odds with her boyfriend, her body, and the tiny baby on the way. Bombarded by varied opinions from those thinking that they know best, Alice must make difficult decisions and alienate those around her in her journey to do "the right thing".

Alice Eve Cohen's brutally honest memoir is utterly compelling. I found it impossible to put this short (191 page) memoir down while I was reading it, and in fact read it in almost one sitting. Cohen pours out her story with urgency, the pace is almost breathless. As she veers from being happy about the pregnancy to determined to end it, the reader has no choice but to hang on tight and be taken along for this ride.

Highly emotional (yes, I dabbed away a tear or two) and relatable to any parent who has found themselves in a high-risk pregnancy situation, What I Thought I Knew is a book that I'm glad I had the chance to read. I applaud the way that Cohen tackles her difficult situation with both grace and rationality using the power of the written word.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of memoirs, mothers
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010

Thank-you to BookSparks PR for providing me with this review copy in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Sounds like a great book. I know I'll like it if you did. I have it on my shelf, waiting to be read.

  2. First time I have seen this book - really interests me, I'll have to look for it.