Flesh & Blood: Reflections on Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life by N. West Moss

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Honest, warm, and witty, this memoir reads like a conversation with a dear friend, a woman sharing her vulnerabilities and confidence, her pain and loss, as she endures infertility, illness, and recovery. With self-awareness and humor, the author takes readers along as she heals by focusing on the experiences of her mother and grandmothers, the wonders of the natural world, and creating a legacy for herself. Perfect for readers of Anne Lamott and books like When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi and Ladyparts by Deborah Copaken.
Honest, warm, and witty, this memoir reads like a chat with a dear friend sharing her insight and her vulnerabilities and taking us along as she heals. Complete with family stories over cocktails and a new friend named Claude, who happens to be a praying mantis.

“I drive and say to myself, if I am dying, if this is how I die, then this is how I die.” When N. West Moss finds herself bleeding uncontrollably in the middle of a writing class, she drives herself to the hospital. Doctors are baffled, but eventually a diagnosis—hemangioma—is determined and a hysterectomy is scheduled. We follow Moss through her surgery, complications, and recovery as her thoughts turn to her previous struggles with infertility, to grief and healing, to what it means to leave a legacy.

Moss’s wise, droll voice and limitless curiosity lift this beautiful memoir beyond any narrow focus. Among her interests: yellow fever, good cocktails, the history of New Orleans, and, always, the natural world, including the praying mantis in her sunroom whom she names Claude. And we learn about the inspiring women in Moss’s family—her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother—as she sorts out her feeling that this line will end with her. But Moss discovers that there are other ways besides having children to make a mark, and that grief is not a stopping place but a companion that travels along with us through everything, even happiness.

With public figures like Chrissy Teigen and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, speaking out about infertility recently, women are eager for voices that acknowledge their struggles. Fans of Lena Dunham, Leslie Jamison, and Jenny Lawson—along with readers of medical memoirs like When Breath Becomes Air and The Bright Hour—will find that connection in Moss’s Flesh & Blood.

Flesh & Blood: Reflections on Infertility, Family, and Creating a Bountiful Life by N. West Moss
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