Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: Accidentally on Purpose

Summary: At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never—not in a million years—on her own. When she finds herself unexpec­tedly expecting, she plunges into the greatest adventure of her life. With humor, insight, and compelling honesty, Pols reveals what it means to compromise in the name of love and to find joy in an accidental life, suddenly brimming with purpose. -- Harper Perennial

I decided to read ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE: THE TRUE TALE OF A HAPPY SINGLE MOTHER by Mary F. Pols because I thought the book looked "cute." I mean the cover is just precious, right? Plus, the author's story had an uncanny likeness to someone I know, and I was a bit curious to get some insight into the situation. After reading ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, I definitely can say that it was a very interesting story and a very good book. And while I didn't always understand Ms. Pols' actions and I did have some difficulties relating to her, none of that affected my enjoyment of this book.

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is Mary Pols' story of becoming a single mother and how she worked out all of the kinks that she encountered along the way. Ms. Pols hooked up one night with a younger man that she had just met at a bar. She had a good time but realized that they were at very different places in their lives -- he was in his late 20s and didn't even have a steady job. They didn't really stay in touch much after the hook-up, until a few weeks later when she discovered that she was pregnant. As a 39 year old woman who knew she wanted a child, she figured this might be her last chance to have one so she decides to keep the baby.

ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE is Ms. Pols' first book; however, she is not a stranger to the written word. She has been a film reviewer for many years before deciding to undertake a book writing career. I found ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE to be very readable, and I became caught up in Ms. Pols' life (and her predicament) right from the start. I was very impressed with storytelling abilities and her writing style, but I think I was more impressed with her honesty. There are parts of this story that aren't exactly flattering towards Ms. Pols, yet she told this story in a very real and upfront manner. I didn't feel as if she were holding anything back! What I also really liked about this book was how she managed to tell this story with so much wit. Her writing was extremely smart and funny while also being insightful.

I expected this book to tell me the story of Ms. Pols' pregnancy and her transition into motherhood as well as her relationship issues with the father (and it definitely was); but what I didn't expect was how much of this story would be about the relationship between Ms. Pols and her parents. I was deeply touched by how Ms. Pols wrote about her aging parents and how she dealt with these changes. I really appreciated how Ms. Pols was able to open up to the reader about everything that was happening in her life and how it affected her -- trying to figure out her relationships, becoming a first time mother, and losing her parents. She definitely managed to go through a lot in just a short period of time -- and survive! I found her story to be rather inspiring at times.

And here's some exciting news! In September, CBS will start airing the sitcom "Accidentally on Purpose" starring Jenna Elfman which is based on Ms. Pol's book. I am thrilled that CBS is planning on having an exclusive screening date for bloggers along with a live video chat with Jenna Elfman and Ms. Pols, and other folks from the cast sometime during the second week in September. I am hoping to participate, and I have to admit that I can hardly wait to see this book brought to life.

Make sure you stop by tomorrow because Ms Pols will be answering a few of my questions. Plus, I will be giving away a copy of her very entertaining memoir ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE.

Check out this video which will give you a little more information about the book:

Thanks to Claire from SallyAnne McCartin & Associates for sending me a copy of this book.


Beth Kephart said...

Wow. I read your review and watched the video, and I am moved.

Thank you for this.

Beth F said...

Great review. On the surface, I probably would have passed this up. But because of both your review and the trailer, I too (like Beth K) am moved.

bermudaonion said...

I sure am glad I'm not the person who you thought of when you were reading this book! Great review.

Pam said...

This book has caught my eye previously - I have a friend who is a single mom on purpose through artificial insemination. Thanks for the review!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

How cool about the live video chat with bloggers!

Tracie said...

I'm like Beth, I would have passed on this book. But the video was so touching and it reminds me of what it is like to become a mother (or father) no matter your situation. And of course that makes me all teary eyed :)

mpartyka said...

I'm reading her book now and am also hosting a giveaway :)

I am passing along accolades today and have mentioned your site – your site has been so helpful to me, a must visit.

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

Like everyone else, I probably would have passed on this one too. But, after taking a closer look it, it looks great.

Gayle said...

I liked this one too. Very refreshing honesty, good storytelling. It was a touching book. Nice review!