cover image Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir

Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir

Aileen Weintraub. Univ. of Nebraska, $22.95 trade paper (316p) ISBN 978-1-4962-3020-1

Love, marriage, and a harrowing pregnancy yield a haunting story of survival in this gripping account from Weintraub (We Got Game!). After a year of dating, Weintraub married her partner, Chris, a New York City hedge fund trader, and the two moved in to his family’s empty farmhouse in Accord, N.Y. When Weintraub became pregnant, the happy life they dreamt of living felt nearly complete, until doctors discovered that she had one tennis-ball- and two football-size fibroids competing for womb space and put her on strict bed rest; “The message was clear,” she writes, “lie down for the next five months and don’t get up. Ever.” Delving into the mental and emotional toll she underwent in “near-solitary confinement” (“My only crime: an ailing cervix”), Weintraub details a constant “loop of anxiety,” amplified by her and Chris’s decision to purchase a troubled local business. As their marriage buckles under the strain, their dilapidated farmhouse becomes a poignant metaphor for their situation’s fragility: “We had become so delicate... not wanting to give up anything, not even to each other.” Weintraub balances her brutally frank account with hope and humor before finding the ultimate release in the delivery of her healthy baby boy. While the catharsis isn’t easily given, there’s beauty on every page. (Mar.)