Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review: "The Unit"

I was sent a review copy of The Unit, a new novel by Swedish author Ninni Homqvist.

It is smooth reading (translated nicely by Marlaine Delargy) and explores what it means to create, love, be valued and be free. Interestingly, I thought it echoed some of the conversations here in America about the Baby Scoop Era--especially the maternity homes--although with an odd undercurrent of hostility toward feminism.

From the promotional materials, I knew that it would touch on some sensitive subjects for members of the adoption/infertility/loss communities. (The "unit" of the title is a program in which unmarried, childless people over a certain age are used as science experiment participants and organ donors for the "necessary" members of society.) But it went way beyond "touchy." It is an enormous emotional mine field with a ticking time bomb of an ending.

If you have struggled with infertility, placed a child for adoption, experienced any sort of adoption-related loss, or struggled with childlessness or singleness, I highly recommend not reading this book unless you are in a very strong, centered place. If you feel like the curiosity is too much, email me and I'll tell you all about it.

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