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The Unprotected: A Novel de Kelly Sokol
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The Unprotected: A Novel (edició 2017)

de Kelly Sokol (Autor)

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1131,391,709 (3.8)No n'hi ha cap
"A compelling debut novel exploring postpartum depression-for readers of suspenseful women's fiction and fans of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin. They say motherhood changes you. As a driven advertising executive, Lara James has always put her career before any plans for a family, preferring professional chic to stay-at-home style. But after her father's death, she realizes she's ready. More than ready, in fact. Yet pregnancy-something other women seem to accomplish effortlessly, even accidentally-doesn't come easily to Lara. What began as an adventure quickly becomes a nightmare as she and her husband endure endless IVF treatments, hormone therapy, and devastating miscarriages. When Lara at last becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter, Auden, she believes their determination has paid off. But Auden cries day and night, ear-shattering screams that strip Lara of her nerves and energy. Her life as a sleep-deprived new mother is unrelenting, and, guiltily, Lara can't help but mourn for what she once had. With her marriage crumbling, Lara is increasingly driven to alarming thoughts and destructive actions she would never have imagined possible before now. Hanging on by a thread, it's only in her darkest moment that Lara will discover the true depths of her love and devotion-and what she's willing to face for the family she's so desperately sought. At times disturbing, The Unprotected is a bold, unflinching novel for anyone who's ever wanted children-and wondered what they might have to sacrifice along the way"--… (més)
Membre:nintendothumb
Títol:The Unprotected: A Novel
Autors:Kelly Sokol (Autor)
Informació:Skyhorse Publishing (2017), 296 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Unprotected: A Novel de Kelly Sokol

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The Unprotected by Kelly Sokol is a starkly honest depiction of infertility and postpartum depression.

Lara James is a driven career advertising executive who never thought she would want to have children. At one time rather dismissive of her friends and family with kids, she shocks her husband Will with her sudden announcement she wants to have a baby. Pursuing pregnancy with the same single-minded focus that helped her achieve professional success, Lara is ill-prepared for a four year battle with infertility. Cautiously optimistic when she is finally pregnant, she is soon writing a detailed birth plan while designing the baby's nursery and discussing baby names. Making a completely unexpected decision to give up her career in order to be a stay at home mom, Lara is completely stunned by the reality of sleep deprivation and a colicky baby who cries for hours on end. Even more shocking is her increasingly downward spiral of exhaustion, frightening thoughts and lack of bonding with her newborn baby.

Lara is not an easy character to like. Her relationship with her mom is contentious and she has absolutely no patience with her at all. She is rude and condescending to her sister, Bea, and she never hesitates to let her know her opinion about Bea's decision to marry and have kids. Lara is a steamroller who does not take other people's feelings or viewpoint into consideration. This attitude extends to her husband Will and she refuses to give up on getting pregnant despite the toll her infertility and treatments are taking on their marriage. She is also a little sly and devious as she becomes obsessed with her quest to become pregnant.

Despite her fertility problems, Lara's pregnancy is rather easy and without complications. Her childbirth experience is not what she expected or planned for, and things continue to go downhill once she is released from the hospital with baby Auden. Exhausted and in pain, Lara struggles with breastfeeding and things worsens as Will quickly returns to work, leaving her and Auden on their own. As the situation continues to deteriorate, her fears about what would happen if she were to reveal some of her worst thoughts are understandable. However, it is somewhat incomprehensible that an intelligent, well-educated woman would not confide just how bad things are becoming. Will also carries his share of the blame for failing to recognize his wife's exhaustion and understandable frustration with Auden's inconsolable crying.

The Unprotected is a realistic portrayal of the shame and fear women experience when motherhood takes a dark turn. Kelly Sokol does not downplay the alarming symptoms of postpartum depression and while she shines a much needed light on this little discussed topic, it is not easy reading about Lara's increasingly disturbing downward spiral. A tough read but one I highly recommend. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
The Unprotected by Kelly Sokol is highly recommended women's literary fiction.

Lara James is a ad executive with a thriving career and a husband she adores. After her father's death she devotes herself even more fully to her career and marries her husband, Will, a college professor her father knew. The two are immediately attracted to each other. They both devote themselves to their careers and each other for several years, until Lara surprises them both by wanting a child. Getting pregnant doesn't come easy, though, and Lara and Will have to endure years of treatments and miscarriages until she finally becomes pregnant. When their daughter Auden is born, though, being a mother isn't as tranquil and calm as Lara thought it would be.

The Unprotected is well written and will draw you into the story right away. The novel is also well-paced; I read the book in one sitting and was engaged through the whole book. Sokol does a nice job developing Lara's character. She's obnoxious in many ways, but you will see her behavior patterns as being consistent with her personality. The infertility problems and miscarriages had me feeling desperately sorry for her pain. When her daughter is born and she spirals into postpartum depression, again, I felt her pain.

So, basically, I like The Unprotected, but there are two glaring problems with it. First Lara is not always a very sympathetic character. It's difficult to feel compassion for her over her infertility and then postpartum depression because she is portrayed as being so uncharitable to other women not on her career path and so incredibly perfect. The only way you can manage this is to draw on personal experiences, your own experience or ones shared with you from your own circle of family and friends. Since so many women have experienced both of these, gathering up empathy for her was relatively easy, despite her difficult personality.

The second flaw overwhelms what the theme of the novel was supposed to be, postpartum depression, according to the synopsis, in my opinion. The Unprotected portrays Lara as a career-minded woman who doesn't want children, but changes her mind in her late thirties. This is easily understood by many women. Then we go through her miscarriages and subsequent infertility treatments. I'm assuming that Sokol wanted to show how much Lara wanted a child before she actually had one. So many women endure the pain and loss from miscarriages and fertility problems that Lara's struggles with this seemed like it could easily carry the narrative of the book. When she finally gets pregnant, we rush through the pregnancy to her postpartum depression. Then we endure her suffering with a colicky baby and no relief. Again, many women have suffered from postpartum depression and didn't have the ability or foresight to ask for help. In my opinion, the book would have been stronger had it focused on one overriding problem - either the infertility and miscarriages, which devastate many woman but are rarely talked about, or her postpartum depression, which many woman also suffer through silently.

The Unprotected still deserves a good rating but could have benefited from a tighter focus. (Also, ignore the comparison to We Need to Talk About Kevin.)

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2017/04/the-unprotected.html
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1975723334 ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Apr 18, 2017 |
Lara James hadn’t thought she wanted a child. She had a successful career and a loving husband. But all of that changes when her father dies and her maternal instinct sets in. Now she longs for a child more than anything else but her body doesn’t agree. She and her husband go through years of fertility treatments until they’re almost ready to give up, but then they’re blessed with the birth of a daughter, Auden. But as they say, be careful what you wish for. Auden never stops crying and Lara is losing her mind.

This is a brutally raw, honest book about motherhood. In fact at times I thought it might indeed be too raw and might be very discouraging to a young woman looking forward to having a family. But not all women experience postpartum depression and, while the book never actually named what was happening to Lara, it was quite obvious that she was not well and that more than a crying baby was bringing her down and causing such desperation in her. Since there is great shame attached to not being able to “handle being a mother”, many women try to hide their anguish and difficulties, much as Lara did. She looked around at other mothers and felt like there was something lacking in her. This is a very necessary book that was a tough read but I hope will encourage women who find themselves in Lara’s position to seek help. The author has written an emotional, heart pounding and brave book.

Recommended.

This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review. ( )
  hubblegal | Apr 4, 2017 |
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"A compelling debut novel exploring postpartum depression-for readers of suspenseful women's fiction and fans of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk About Kevin. They say motherhood changes you. As a driven advertising executive, Lara James has always put her career before any plans for a family, preferring professional chic to stay-at-home style. But after her father's death, she realizes she's ready. More than ready, in fact. Yet pregnancy-something other women seem to accomplish effortlessly, even accidentally-doesn't come easily to Lara. What began as an adventure quickly becomes a nightmare as she and her husband endure endless IVF treatments, hormone therapy, and devastating miscarriages. When Lara at last becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter, Auden, she believes their determination has paid off. But Auden cries day and night, ear-shattering screams that strip Lara of her nerves and energy. Her life as a sleep-deprived new mother is unrelenting, and, guiltily, Lara can't help but mourn for what she once had. With her marriage crumbling, Lara is increasingly driven to alarming thoughts and destructive actions she would never have imagined possible before now. Hanging on by a thread, it's only in her darkest moment that Lara will discover the true depths of her love and devotion-and what she's willing to face for the family she's so desperately sought. At times disturbing, The Unprotected is a bold, unflinching novel for anyone who's ever wanted children-and wondered what they might have to sacrifice along the way"--

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