Thursday, April 10, 2008

Expecting Adam

Expecting Adam is about Martha Beck's experiences while she was pregnant with her son, Adam, who was born with Down Syndrome. She recounts incredible spiritual experiences that occurred many times and yet she still seems so unsure of any reason why or how or who. I found it interesting that she seemed content to still be so agnostic. She said "or whatever" so many times in this book and I wanted to scream out loud, "don't you care to know?" She has decided that the who, what, where doesn't matter and is content with just "is". I guess I have a hard time believing her considering how she was raised and what she claims to have gone through. I don't buy her happy rehabilitated hippy self. I'm not saying I don't believe her memoir. Who am I to doubt a complete strangers memories? But I'm dubious of her motives in writing this book. She seems like she is trying to prove that she is the very vogue "spiritual" person now and not at all the very uncool religious person. This will sound petty but she mentioned Harvard, by name, hundreds of times. Hundreds. But anytime she mentioned her father or where she actually completed her dissertation, she just uses the phrase, "at the university where my father taught" as if actually typing Brigham Young University causes her pain and discomfort or somehow isn't a real school. Why? Is it that irrelevant? She did the same thing with other places in Utah. I just thought it interesting that a place where she grew up and that she tried to distance herself from so much doesn't even warrant a proper name. Just a description. Weird. It just didn't sit well with me and cast doubt on her hunky dorky attitude.

She is a gifted writer for sure. Very funny and enjoyable to read. And I agreed so much with her thoughts on why we are here - to interact and love each other. I wonder what it would have been like to read this book without knowing anything about the author. Without knowing that she also wrote a book called "Leaving the Saints" (which I haven't read) or that she was Hugh Nibley's daughter or that she now works for Oprah (I tell you...the entire time I was reading this I kept imaging Martha Beck to look like Oprah's new "Dr. Phil" - it was very disconcerting). I honestly think I would have liked it better. Interesting how my own prejudices influenced my reaction to a book. I am tempted to read her other stuff. Advice? Warnings?

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