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Living the Life Unexpected: 12 Weeks to Your Plan B for a Meaningful and Fulfilling Future Without Children
  1. Susan Quilliam
  1. Writer, Broadcaster, Consultant and Trainer, Cambridge, UK; susan@susanquilliam.com

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Jody Day. London, UK: Bluebird (Pan Macmillan), 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1-509-80903-5. Price: £12.99. Pages: 296 (paperback)
Kamalamani. Alresford, UK: Earth Books (John Hunt Publishing), 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1-782-79820-0. Price: £14.99. Pages: 288 (paperback)

The journal's commission to review these two books holds a personal as well as a professional interest for me. In adolescence I was informed that for medical reasons I could not conceive, and I accepted that as a given. Ten years later I was told that the diagnosis was wrong and I could procreate, at which point I realised that I didn't have a ‘vocation’ to do so. In many ways I had a relatively simple emotional journey: from never having known I could be a mother to realising that even if I could, I didn't want to be.

The two books that this review covers, however, movingly make the point that for most childless women, the journey is anything but simple. Living the Life Unexpected is written for those women who are ‘without children by circumstance’; that is, they may want to be parents but for various external reasons, often medical, cannot be. Other Than Mother is written for …

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