A candid and philosophical memoir tackling abortion and the complex decision to reproduce I Know You Rider is Leslie Stein’s rumination on the many complex questions surrounding the decision to reproduce.
Opening in an abortion clinic, the book accompanies Stein through a year of her life, steeped in emotions she was not quite expecting while also looking far beyond her own experiences.
She visits with a childhood friend who’s just had twins and is trying to raise them as environmentally as possible, chats with another who’s had a vasectomy to spare his wife a lifetime of birth control, and spends Christmas with her own mother, who aches for a grandchild.
Through these melodically rendered conversations with loved ones and strangers, Stein weaves one continuing conversation with herself.
She presents a sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, and always powerfully empathetic account, asking what makes a life meaningful and where we find joy, amid other questions–most of which have no solid answers, much like real life. Instead of focusing on trauma, I Know You Rider is a story about unpredictability, change, and adaptability, adding a much-needed new perspective to a topic often avoided or discussed through a black-and-white lens.
People are ever changing, contradicting themselves, and having to deal with unforeseen circumstances: Stein holds this human condition with grace and humor, as she embraces the cosmic choreography and keeps walking, open to what life blows her way.
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