Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Corner: Life Choices by Linda Weber

Sentient sent me a copy of Life Choices to read and review, and I'm really glad I decided to because it came at a time when I've been feeling a little homesick, and Linda Weber's tone and worldview are so much like my mother's, it was like reading a letter she would write to me.

The book is an exploration of abortion through the eyes of a counsellor, which I think makes a big difference to how we look at, well, anything, really. I always love stories told by providers - like Susan Wicklund's book, This Common Secret - but counsellors, especially those who have been practicing for a while, have an outlook that resonates with me.

It's hard to describe what the Weber actually talks about; it is mostly a jumble of ideas about abortion and what it means in a wider context. Life Choices is about how we view our bodies, what we think and feel about sex and sexuality, what it is like to live in a patriarchy. While the ideas presented are not overtly political, they have great political implications. Weber even takes a chapter to imagine an ideal world, sans patriarchy, where women could will themselves not to conceive through a greater spiritual connection to the world and our bodies.

If it sounds a little flaky, it is, but it takes a while to get there and it is built on a solid foundation. Weber has clearly spoken with many women going through the abortion decision and she shares some of their stories, and it is fascinating. There were also a lot of different ways of viewing abortion that I had never thought of, dropped like quick little asides in a book stuffed with ideas. Blink and you'll miss them!

What really made me think of my mother was Weber's tone; she has many things to say, a lot of advice to give, but it never comes across as even suggestions. It just sort of...flows. It is hard to describe, but I guess I feel like it comes across that Weber is a person who has spent a long time doing non-judgmental listening. The type of person who asks "And what does that mean to you?" or "How does that make you feel?". In a good way, of course. I have never had an abortion, but when I read this book I felt safe and loved. That's not nothing.

There were downsides, of course. I feel like someone who has not grown up being talked to this way might find Weber's tone to be flaky and even a bit cuckoo, especially the parts about spirit and "All That Is". So I don't know how accessible it is to your average person. On the other hand, for those who are open and receptive to it, it is a great read. It will change your ideas about abortion (if you read it with an open mind).

I feel like I can't make it any more obvious that I loved this book. I highly recommend it!


This review is part of a promotional blog tour - it was preceded by a review on Eve Laments on Nov. 16th and the next review is at The Abortion Monologues on Nov. 18. The author is planning an actual tour in February - keep an eye on the website for details.

Although I was asked to review this book I received no compensation for doing so and was encouraged to express my honest opinion. Nothing I've said in this blog post was influenced by the publisher in any way.


Autumn said...

A book that I really like is How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America by Cristina Page.

I like your blog, especially how you handle the anti-choice bullies outside your clinic. When I accompanied my best friend for her abortion we had to wade through these creeps. They said they were going to find out who we were and tell our families we had gotten abortions. My friend handled the abortion fine but she was terrified for months afterward that they would tell her parents. Nothing came of it since the assholes were just tormenting us since they couldn't stop the abortion and they had no way of getting our names. Pardon my strong language but it's a fucking disgrace that we have todeal with this shit from these hateful people.


Colleen Walsh Fong said...

This is an excellent summation of an intelligent read. I, too, was moved by the book, though did not expect to be. The historical and spiritual perspective it places a highly-charged topic into is important for all people--both men and women--to make themselves aware of.
Thank you for the post.