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Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth, and Everyday Magic Hardcover – 1 Feb 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Times Books (Feb. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812929802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812929805
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,115,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A wonderful book, funny, unbelievably tender, and smart. It shimmers."
--Anne Lamott, author of "Operating Instructions"
"Expecting Adam is Martha Beck's meticulously written, uplifting, and compassionate account of being gifted with a retarded son who opens her heart to the deep intuitions that love can bring." --Judith Orloff, M.D., author of "Second Sight"
"Set half in Harvard and half in heaven, Expecting Adam is a tough-minded yet tender-hearted book of spiritual discovery--a rueful, riveting, piercingly funny, thoroughly modern and deeply old-fashioned memoir. In short, a book to be reckoned with." --Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way
"I can't believe I almost didn't read this book. The thing is, I thought it was about a lady who had a baby with Down Syndrome. This is like saying ANNA KARENINA is a book about a lady who commits suicide. In fact, this book is about matters so important and yet so totally way-out that I would accept no one but a comi

"Immensely appealing...hooked me on the first page and propelled me right through visions and out-of-body experiences I would normally scoff at."--"Detroit Free Press"
"I challenge any reader not to be moved by it."--"New York Newsday"

"Expecting Adam is Martha Beck's meticulously written, uplifting, and compassionate account of being gifted with a retarded son who opens her heart to the deep intuitions that love can bring." --Judith Orloff, M.D., author of "Second Sight"
"Set half in Harvard and half in heaven, Expecting Adam is a tough-minded yet tender-hearted book of spiritual discovery--a rueful, riveting, piercingly funny, thoroughly modern and deeply old-fashioned memoir. In short, a book to be reckoned with." --Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way
"I can't believe I almost didn't read this book. The thing is, I thought it was about a lady who had a baby with Down Syndrome. This is like saying ANNA KARENINA is a book about a lady who commits suicide. In fact, this book is about matters so important and yet so totally way-out that I would accept no one but a comic genius with seven years at Harvard under her belt telling me about them. That's Martha Beck: funny, companionable, razor-sharp, down-to-earth, and onto the Big Secrets of Life Itself. Anyone considering having a child should have to read this book. It has changed some of my thinking about pregnancy and about children with disabilities, and I don't think it's too much to say it could change my life."
--Marion Winik, author of "First Comes Love" and "The Lunchbox Chronicles"
"Expecting Adam is not one of those grit-your-teeth, lemons-into-lemonade sagas that leave the reader feeling more besieged and guilty than the writer. It is a long hymn, from a practical woman caught flatfooted by amazing grace. Martha Beck is a celebrant skeptics can trust."
--Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of "The Most Wanted" and "The Deep End of the Ocean"
"I laughed. I cried. I couldn't put it down. I didn't want it to end. I wish I knew Adam and his family--and of course I do. A brave, uplifting, life-transforming book." --Sophy Burnham, author of "A Book of Angels"
"With uncommon sense and dependable wit, Martha Beck unravels every assumption about the meaning of life, choice, love--and the wisdom of pursuing happiness through any of the usual routes. If Expecting Adam raises suspicions among more rational readers that Martha Beck is slightly crazy, it raised my hopes that I'd catch it from her." --Mary Kay Blakely, author of "American Mom"

Immensely appealing hooked me on the first page and propelled me right through visions and out-of-body experiences I would normally scoff at. --"Detroit Free Press"
I challenge any reader not to be moved by it. --"New York Newsday"

"Expecting Adam is Martha Beck's meticulously written, uplifting, and compassionate account of being gifted with a retarded son who opens her heart to the deep intuitions that love can bring." --Judith Orloff, M.D., author of "Second Sight"
"Set half in Harvard and half in heaven, Expecting Adam is a tough-minded yet tender-hearted book of spiritual discovery--a rueful, riveting, piercingly funny, thoroughly modern and deeply old-fashioned memoir. In short, a book to be reckoned with."--Julia Cameron, author of The Artist's Way
"I can't believe I almost didn't read this book. The thing is, I thought it was about a lady who had a baby with Down Syndrome. This is like saying ANNA KARENINA is a book about a lady who commits suicide. In fact, this book is about matters so important and yet so totally way-out that I would accept no one but a comic genius with seven years at Harvard under her belt telling me about them. That's Martha Beck: funny, companionable, razor-sharp, down-to-earth, and onto the Big Secrets of Life Itself. Anyone considering having a child should have to read this book. It has changed some of my thinking about pregnancy and about children with disabilities, and I don't think it's too much to say it could change my life."
--Marion Winik, author of "First Comes Love" and "The Lunchbox Chronicles"
"Expecting Adamis not one of those grit-your-teeth, lemons-into-lemonade sagas that leave the reader feeling more besieged and guilty than the writer. It is a long hymn, from a practical woman caught flatfooted by amazing grace. Martha Beck is a celebrant skeptics can trust."
--Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of "The Most Wanted"and "The Deep End of the Ocean"
"I laughed. I cried. I couldn't put it down. I didn't want it to end. I wish I knew Adam and his family--and of course I do. A brave, uplifting, life-transforming book." --Sophy Burnham, author of "A Book of Angels"
"With uncommon sense and dependable wit, Martha Beck unravels every assumption about the meaning of life, choice, love--and the wisdom of pursuing happiness through any of the usual routes. If Expecting Adam raises suspicions among more rational readers that Martha Beck is slightly crazy, it raised my hopes that I'd catch it from her." --Mary Kay Blakely, author of "American Mom"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

I'm Martha Beck's editor; here's why I love her book so much
I wanted to tell you more about EXPECTING ADAM because it's the freshest, funniest, wisest book I've come across in years.

At its heart, this is a memoir about learning to live through the fear of change and trusting that the forces around you will watch over you. It's an account of the life-transforming things that happened to Martha when she discovered during her second pregnancy that the baby--whom she and her husband John later named Adam in utero--had Down Syndrome. The miraculous events that followed this crushing discovery forced Martha and John to trash their carefully planned lives in Harvard's ivory tower and make fearless, unconventional choices instead. As Martha told me, "That was when I lost my life, but fortunately, it was the wrong life."

I've gotten amazing quotes for this book from Anne Lamott, Marion Winik, and Jacquelyn Mitchard--none of whom knew me or Martha--among others. But just as important, I've gotten more raves for EXPECTING ADAM from my coworkers than for any other book I've edited since I started in the business in l98l; our marketing director told me that "reading this book made me a better person." I've gotten so many calls from our sales reps about it that I picture them basically trying to love this book onto the shelves. I've got to believe that all this is because EXPECTING ADAM is such a genuinely fulfilling reader's book. I've also come to admire and adore Martha--okay, flat-out love her--because she's so terrifically funny, warm, and inspiring. I really think she's helping me get a life too.

I hope you'll be as moved and surprised by EXPECTING ADAM as I've been. Let me know what you think of it.

Yours,

Elizabeth Rapoport, Executive Editor, Times Books

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my all-time favourite book! I have read and reread it and never become tired of it. I love everything about it; especially the fact that it forces one to look at what appears to be a disasterous situation - the birth of a baby with Down's Syndrome into a family of almost fanatical intellectuals - with a completely new perspective. It validates the cliche that "everything happens for the best"...even though it might take some of us a very long time to realise how we have benefited from some of the more traumatic experiences in our own lives. The miracle of this book is that the author has taken a subject which one imagines is going to spawn a very grim read and, instead, has managed to create an incredibly moving, warm and - yes! - very funny book. A great triumph!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an account of the experiences of a highly-educated and academically-successful couple expecting a child, prenatally diagnosed, with Down's syndrome in the eighties. The story is moving and engaging and the book is well-written. It is firmly placed in the eighties and both the reaction of the parents and the narrative are influenced by the beliefs of the Mormon church to which both the author and her husband belonged until mid nineties.

It is emphasized in the epilogue of the book that the story is true and as factual as possible. I found this difficult to believe, not because of the miracles (which really are more being in touch with one's self rather than unexplainable events), but rather because of what happened next in Martha Beck's life and how it all unravelled.

Overall, this is a good book, and I recommend it. Approach with caution as it feels a bit self-centred and high-brow, and quite unflattering to the academic life, academic standards and academics in top universities in general.
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Format: Hardcover
Thank you, thank you, thank you Martha Beck for this marvelous tale of your journey. I have been spinning my wheels agonizing over admission to the graduate school of my dreams and postponing motherhood for the sake of academic pursuits. Martha's book spoke to me on so many levels, but the most inspirational message is that of finding one's calling. She reminded me that my worth can not be measured by a pedigree or climbing a corporate ladder. My value is intrinsic and I already possess the key to my serenity and peace. As a dear friend recently reminded me, "The things you're looking for are right under your nose. Don't miss out on your blessing because it isn't packaged the way you expect." Martha reminded me of this once again. Allow her story to speak to you!
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By A Customer on 22 May 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, and a mind-boggling story. Like me you may be sceptical about psychic visions and the like, especially when related by flaky-sounding American types, but the story is told in such a down-to-earth and humorous style that you will be completely carried along, eagerly awaiting the next instalment of the tale which is quite horrific in parts and utterly compelling. I really liked Martha Beck and her family; she never forces her beliefs on you - you can take them or leave them. This must be a sign of great confidence, I feel, and what a refreshing change. The writing is first-class - carefully structured, fantastically easy to read. I'd thoroughly recommend this to anyone who doubts their ability to cope with a difficult life-event, and to health-care professionals such as midwives, who could learn a lot from this saga. As for me, the book left me wanting to know more about Adam and how the family has developed over the years since his birth. Buy it, you won't regret it!
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Format: Hardcover
I have a daughter with a very severe genetic syndrome which is why I bought this book. I have read several books in the disablitly genre and therefore believed this book would be very predictible. Boy was I wrong!
Little did I know that Martha Beck would speak directly to my heart and make me realize that life is too short to persue goals for the sake of achieving the goal. Rather, we must listen to our hearts and sometimes be willing to take risks. Thank you Martha Beck...with your guidance I was able to take action and free myself from a completely unrewarding career.
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Format: Paperback
Truly a book to gladden the soul. If you're facing difficulties in your life and you need the courage to continue then this is the book for you. The lessons to be learned from Adam are simple and inspiring - are we ready to listen? Written in an extremely accessible style with engaging honesty. You'll want to give this book to your closest friends!
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Format: Hardcover
I love this book. I got it because I am considering a special needs adoption and I came across it by accident. Buying this book was not a mistake -- it's one of the most wonderful stories. Martha Beck renders such a magnificent portrayal of what mothers go through when something is wrong with their kid in an area that other kids are considered "normal." Also, it is a spiritual journey and one that will make you think again about how you view reality. I couldn't put this book down and had to keep reading. Not just to find out how the story unfolded, but to see what would unfold in myself as I read. I recommend this book to all mothers, all parents. It is also pure inspiration for anyone coping with any kind of personal limitations, no matter what they are.
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