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Hardcover Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made Book

ISBN: 0061256927

ISBN13: 9780061256929

Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never--not in a million years--on her own. When she finds herself unexpec-tedly expecting, she plunges into the greatest... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A very enjoyable read

As a single mum myself I wanted to read Mary's story and I couldn't put the book down. I related to a lot of what Mary went through from when she found out she was pregnant, to telling her family and friends, oh - and the father, to trying to prepare for having a baby by herself, and then the baby actually being present in her life. If you're in the same boat then definitely read this book. Even if you're not in the same situation, then definitely read this book as it's a very honest account of what it's like to be pregnant when you're not in a 'traditional' relationship. I was also intrigued to find out why she is a happy single mum - it can happen you know - but you'll have to read the book to see.

accidentally on purpose

Her ticking biological clock is the point of departure for Mary F. Pols's tasty new memoir. Just shy of her fortieth birthday, Pols lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she has a circle of loyal friends and an interesting but unlucrative job as a film critic. What she doesn't have is a steady guy--and the prospect of marriage and children. Coming from a large, close-knit family, Pols is in near-panic mode. The book's title and cover (the latter features a woman downing a cocktail and a toddler holding his bottle) give away a good deal of the plot--but not all of it. Pols's one-night stand with a nice guy she meets in a bar propels her into pregnancy and motherhood. It also marks the beginning of a tricky relationship with her baby's father who, though young and broke, wants to be part of his son's life. While learning to balance the demands of being a mother, co-parent, and breadwinner, Pols must confront the decline of her beloved aging parents, who live on the Maine coast. As another biological clock ticks away, Pols and her siblings embark on the bittersweet coming-of-age task of ushering their parents from this world Accidentally on Purpose is a family chronicle, full of insights and surprises. In the telling, Pols is feisty, tender, despairing, exuberant. And stunningly honest. Read this book!

Real life drama, tears and chuckles. This book has it all!

This tale of passage from perpetual single gal to single mother changes the author immensely in so many ways, and it's truly a tale of our times. An unplugged version of what happens when a dream comes true, it also is so revealing about this woman's inner growth and boundless love for the people around her, even if it doesn't always seem that way. With such beautiful language, all life events -- the beginning of life or the end of it -- come through utterly human and beautiful. Thank you for the ride Mary!

Funny and Great

This is book for our times. Our generation has had remarkable freedom to make choices about our lives. There's been no set time when we were expected to get married, buy a house, settle down, have children . . . But this has also given us the illusion that we are more in control than we actually are. Pols reminds us that life is its own force and it is often the times when we are overwhelmed or out of control that are the most joyful moments of living.

Unexpected Motherhood Gives Pols Insight Into Various Types of Love

SPOILERS: Mary F. Pols's memoir starts out with a one-night stand, but winds up being as much a meditation on her family of origin as the one she creates with a most unlikely mate. At 39, she has wanted a child, but hasn't done much to move that process along. When she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she doesn't question keeping the baby, but does question who she wound up procreating with: Matt, an unemployed guy ten years her junior with roommates, a messy apartment, and little ambition. Though she's hot for him and continues to be throughout her pregnancy, reconciling his role in her life is something that doesn't stop even after she gives birth to her son Dolan (a family name). Pols's pregnancy and birth story are the backbone of this book, but equally as important is her large family, which is in flux as each of her parents go on the decline as her pregnancy progresses. Pols weaves in memories of her parents as well as her sense that she is not living up to what they'd expected of her. But what Pols learns again and again is not to underestimate those around her, whether it's her father's acceptance of her unwed and single state (and of Matt as the father of his grandson) as well as Matt's ability to rise up to his role as father. When Pols finds out Matt had been cheating on her toward the end of her pregnancy, it's one of the rawest parts of the book, one where both people seem "right" as well as "wrong." Pols is understandably angry ("'Was this mercy f---ing?" I asked. "Taking care of the pregnant woman's needs? You felt nothing at all?'") but it's clear that Matt has been upfront with her from the start. Their tumultuous push-pull relationship is a struggle especially once they become parents. Does this book have a happy ending? Yes, and no. In fact, the latter chapters, dealing with the deaths of Pols's parents, are intense, and (sorry to spoil it) but there is no wedding or a traditional happily ever after. But I think the lesson of the book is that one's vision of "Happily Ever After" cannot stay fixed in stone, especially when it comes to childrearing. Pols was forced to rearrange and update and transform her vision, to embrace both her child's father and the people she lost even as she gained her son. "He makes me so happy I can hardly stand it," Pols writes of her son, after he's snuggled up to her and said, "I'm petting you." That's not to say that Pols started out bitter and cynical and wound up smiling and maternal, but rather the potential to love so unconditionally was brought out by her dealings with Matt and feelings for her son, and reflected back at her in the ways she and her siblings coped with her parents' deaths. Pols also speaks to the gap she felt between her peers who were already mothers and the path she chose as a movie critic. Her abortion at 21 left her feeling that "I'd failed as a daughter and I'd failed as the mother of the child I could have had." Ultimately, Pols speaks to a story greater than her
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