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Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir

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A laugh-out-loud memoir about a free-spirited, commitment-phobic Brooklyn girl who, after a whirlwind romance, finds herself living in a rickety farmhouse, pregnant, and faced with five months of doctor-prescribed bed rest because of unusually large fibroids. Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship t A laugh-out-loud memoir about a free-spirited, commitment-phobic Brooklyn girl who, after a whirlwind romance, finds herself living in a rickety farmhouse, pregnant, and faced with five months of doctor-prescribed bed rest because of unusually large fibroids. Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship to the next. When her father suddenly dies, she flees her Jewish Brooklyn community for the wilds of the country, where she unexpectedly falls in love with a man who knows a lot about produce, tractors, and how to take a person down in one jiu-jitsu move. Within months of saying “I do” she’s pregnant, life is on track, and then wham! Her doctor slaps a high-risk label on her uterus and sends her to bed for five months.  As her husband’s bucolic (and possibly haunted) farmhouse begins to collapse and her marriage starts to do the same, Weintraub finally confronts her grief for her father while fighting for the survival of her unborn baby. In her precarious situation, will she stay or will she once again run away from it all?   Knocked Down is an emotionally charged, laugh-out-loud roller-coaster ride of survival and growth. It is a story about marriage, motherhood, and the risks we take.


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A laugh-out-loud memoir about a free-spirited, commitment-phobic Brooklyn girl who, after a whirlwind romance, finds herself living in a rickety farmhouse, pregnant, and faced with five months of doctor-prescribed bed rest because of unusually large fibroids. Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship t A laugh-out-loud memoir about a free-spirited, commitment-phobic Brooklyn girl who, after a whirlwind romance, finds herself living in a rickety farmhouse, pregnant, and faced with five months of doctor-prescribed bed rest because of unusually large fibroids. Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship to the next. When her father suddenly dies, she flees her Jewish Brooklyn community for the wilds of the country, where she unexpectedly falls in love with a man who knows a lot about produce, tractors, and how to take a person down in one jiu-jitsu move. Within months of saying “I do” she’s pregnant, life is on track, and then wham! Her doctor slaps a high-risk label on her uterus and sends her to bed for five months.  As her husband’s bucolic (and possibly haunted) farmhouse begins to collapse and her marriage starts to do the same, Weintraub finally confronts her grief for her father while fighting for the survival of her unborn baby. In her precarious situation, will she stay or will she once again run away from it all?   Knocked Down is an emotionally charged, laugh-out-loud roller-coaster ride of survival and growth. It is a story about marriage, motherhood, and the risks we take.

30 review for Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Maum

    "Two weeks earlier I had been spread-eagle on the examination table in a bright yellow room looking up at a poster of an imitation Georgia O’Keeffe flower taped to the ceiling while my doctor put her hands in places that generally required a lot more foreplay and at least a little bit of booze." If this sentence doesn't lure you in to the wonderful and messy-as-hell world of KNOCKED DOWN then...you need more than literature. I loved this book. Weintraub's writing is so charming, so relatable, so hea "Two weeks earlier I had been spread-eagle on the examination table in a bright yellow room looking up at a poster of an imitation Georgia O’Keeffe flower taped to the ceiling while my doctor put her hands in places that generally required a lot more foreplay and at least a little bit of booze." If this sentence doesn't lure you in to the wonderful and messy-as-hell world of KNOCKED DOWN then...you need more than literature. I loved this book. Weintraub's writing is so charming, so relatable, so heartfelt but so funny-- I dare you not to fall in love with this tale of a pregnant commitment-phobe on bedrest.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jody Keisner

    Aileen Weintraub is a self-described "commitment-phobic" city girl living in a haunted farmhouse with her newish husband and even newer pregnancy--and on bedrest because of an "incompetent cervix" (she takes umbrage at the doctor's choice of words). What follows is a beautiful, funny, heartwarming account of life during five months of bedrest (difficult for anyone but especially someone with as lively as a personality as the narrator's), and also an exploration of faith and her stressed-out marr Aileen Weintraub is a self-described "commitment-phobic" city girl living in a haunted farmhouse with her newish husband and even newer pregnancy--and on bedrest because of an "incompetent cervix" (she takes umbrage at the doctor's choice of words). What follows is a beautiful, funny, heartwarming account of life during five months of bedrest (difficult for anyone but especially someone with as lively as a personality as the narrator's), and also an exploration of faith and her stressed-out marriage. Occasionally explored through flashbacks, her parents are both memorable (and witty!) characters here, too, that come to life on the page. I loved the narrator's personality, wit, and warmth. A must-read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Park

    Thanks to NetGalley and The University of Nebraska Press for this ARC audiobook (released on March 1, 2022) in exchange for my honest review. In this memoir, the author takes a leap to commit to a relationship, moves to a fixer upper in the country, takes a stab at focusing on being a writer and deals with a difficult pregnancy. The story was fine but there was a lot less humor than I expected. The author did experience a lot of trying situations but I couldn’t help noticing the privilege that a Thanks to NetGalley and The University of Nebraska Press for this ARC audiobook (released on March 1, 2022) in exchange for my honest review. In this memoir, the author takes a leap to commit to a relationship, moves to a fixer upper in the country, takes a stab at focusing on being a writer and deals with a difficult pregnancy. The story was fine but there was a lot less humor than I expected. The author did experience a lot of trying situations but I couldn’t help noticing the privilege that allowed her to decide to be a writer full time and buy a fixer upper. Possibly it wasn’t the story for me and the narrator’s reading was a bit flat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    "Two weeks earlier I had been spread-eagle on the examination table in a bright yellow room looking up at a poster of an imitation Georgia O’Keeffe flower taped to the ceiling while my doctor put her hands in places that generally required a lot more foreplay and at least a little bit of booze." Oh my goodness.... that is just a glimpse of the sass and humor in Weintraub's memoir. This is such a breathe of fresh air. The rare kind of memoir that is hilarious but also heart-breakingly honest. Each "Two weeks earlier I had been spread-eagle on the examination table in a bright yellow room looking up at a poster of an imitation Georgia O’Keeffe flower taped to the ceiling while my doctor put her hands in places that generally required a lot more foreplay and at least a little bit of booze." Oh my goodness.... that is just a glimpse of the sass and humor in Weintraub's memoir. This is such a breathe of fresh air. The rare kind of memoir that is hilarious but also heart-breakingly honest. Each written word from Weintraub is prosed with self reflection and teaches/engages readers about the challenges of high risk pregnancy. Knocked Down made me laugh my butt off and emotional at the end because it was just THAT good. I highly recommend! 5/5 stars Thank you so much to the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Gehring

    Loved this memoir! After having three children of my own and spending some of my career as a postpartum doula, I definitely connected with the honesty and the humor that Weintraub brought to this book. The stories of the author’s parents, her husband, and the moment she became a mother were heartwarming and almost always filled with humor. A book that touches your heart, makes you laugh, and comforts you as a friend would. I highly recommend! Very grateful for the ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa (bookscallmyheart)

    I do not read memoirs very often, but every once in a while I find one that just begs me to read it! As soon as I heard about Knocked Down: A High Risk Memoir, I was intrigued and I’m so glad I read it. Knocked Down is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read (again, I don’t read many memoirs so do with this what you will) and I was enthralled from beginning to end. It was introspective, honest, and relatable while also being laugh-out-loud funny and heartwarming. As someone who is not Jewish, I a I do not read memoirs very often, but every once in a while I find one that just begs me to read it! As soon as I heard about Knocked Down: A High Risk Memoir, I was intrigued and I’m so glad I read it. Knocked Down is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read (again, I don’t read many memoirs so do with this what you will) and I was enthralled from beginning to end. It was introspective, honest, and relatable while also being laugh-out-loud funny and heartwarming. As someone who is not Jewish, I appreciated the own-voices Jewish representation. I realized there is so much I didn’t know or understand so it was really enlightening! Thank you so much @getredprbooks for the gifted copy!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Madhushree Ghosh

    What a refreshing, amazingly crisp memoir of a serious topic of high-risk pregnancy. I was lucky enough to get a pre-pub ARC of KNOCKED DOWN: A HIGH-RISK MEMOIR. I was thrilled to have been part of the author's words on her move from a Jewish life in Brooklyn to an almost pastoral existence after marriage and then a high-risk pregnancy upstate. But what this book is, is the author's reflection on grief, the loss of her father and how she comes to terms with it as she holds onto her pregnancy, her What a refreshing, amazingly crisp memoir of a serious topic of high-risk pregnancy. I was lucky enough to get a pre-pub ARC of KNOCKED DOWN: A HIGH-RISK MEMOIR. I was thrilled to have been part of the author's words on her move from a Jewish life in Brooklyn to an almost pastoral existence after marriage and then a high-risk pregnancy upstate. But what this book is, is the author's reflection on grief, the loss of her father and how she comes to terms with it as she holds onto her pregnancy, her marriage, in a possibly haunted farmhouse that she now calls home. Aileen writes with wry humor, an easy conversational style, and it almost feels like we are watching that life unfold right in front of us in real-life. Based on my research, a 1998 clinical study determined that as many as 90 percent of maternal-fetal specialists order bed rest for some patients in high risk pregnancies. The author obviously fell in that group--it is how she aligned with it, focused on her baby with humor, joy and Jewish candor and highlighted what it means to be a mother.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Melnick

    For such a laugh-out-loud funny book, I found myself bursting into tears more than once while reading Knocked Down. Weintraub is a dextrous writer, and she takes this personal story of marriage and family life to a place any of us can understand because the feelings and experiences she fearlessly recounts are universal: hopefulness and hopelessness, love and anger, worry and laughter, despair and survival. I don’t want to give anything away but I think you will, like I did, find yourself unable For such a laugh-out-loud funny book, I found myself bursting into tears more than once while reading Knocked Down. Weintraub is a dextrous writer, and she takes this personal story of marriage and family life to a place any of us can understand because the feelings and experiences she fearlessly recounts are universal: hopefulness and hopelessness, love and anger, worry and laughter, despair and survival. I don’t want to give anything away but I think you will, like I did, find yourself unable to stop reading once you start!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Rolland

    This is the kind of rare book that manages to be both hilarious and heart-breakingly honest...with psychological insight and poignant self-reflection on every page. It's impressive how Weintraub manages to make her experience accessible even to those who have never been through the multiple challenges of bed-rest, high-risk pregnancy, isolation, and on and on--and how she explores her obstacles in a way that teaches, enlightens, and entertains. I am grateful to have never been in her shoes and a This is the kind of rare book that manages to be both hilarious and heart-breakingly honest...with psychological insight and poignant self-reflection on every page. It's impressive how Weintraub manages to make her experience accessible even to those who have never been through the multiple challenges of bed-rest, high-risk pregnancy, isolation, and on and on--and how she explores her obstacles in a way that teaches, enlightens, and entertains. I am grateful to have never been in her shoes and am impressed at the strength and wisdom she's gained from her experience. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Debi

    I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy of Knocked Down. Don't be fooled by this book's biting humor and cheeky observations: at the heart of Knocked Down is a serious exploration of how women become mothers in a medical system that churns out diagnoses and treatments as if they were nothing more than cheap plastic tiaras. Weintraub's story of pregnancy bed rest ambles back and forth in time as she sifts through the loss of her father, her feelings about commitment, and the economic fo I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader Copy of Knocked Down. Don't be fooled by this book's biting humor and cheeky observations: at the heart of Knocked Down is a serious exploration of how women become mothers in a medical system that churns out diagnoses and treatments as if they were nothing more than cheap plastic tiaras. Weintraub's story of pregnancy bed rest ambles back and forth in time as she sifts through the loss of her father, her feelings about commitment, and the economic forces behind her husband's new business and their crumbling farmhouse. Part love story, part medical tale, part family epic, Knocked Down leads with an incompetent cervix but ends with a fully competent mother and her community, full to the brim with love.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brijana

    I was lucky enough to be given an advance reading copy of Knocked Down, and the best compliment I can give it is that I miss it now that I've finished reading it. Which is honestly the best kind of book and so rare, to physically miss reading it and to be sad it's over. I've never been married or pregnant, let alone had a high-risk pregnancy. And yet I relate to this book on such a deep level. Due to an autoimmune disease, I know what it's like to be bedridden. Due to Covid, I know what it's like I was lucky enough to be given an advance reading copy of Knocked Down, and the best compliment I can give it is that I miss it now that I've finished reading it. Which is honestly the best kind of book and so rare, to physically miss reading it and to be sad it's over. I've never been married or pregnant, let alone had a high-risk pregnancy. And yet I relate to this book on such a deep level. Due to an autoimmune disease, I know what it's like to be bedridden. Due to Covid, I know what it's like to be labeled "high-risk". And because of being alive in an often cruel world, I definitely know what it's like to feel knocked down. You'd think all those things would make it a hard read, but because of Weintraub's genius, this was one of the most COMFORTING, LAUGH-OUT-LOUD books I've ever read. There is so much heart and humor in it that it was so soothing to read. Whenever I felt anxiety start to creep in, I would read another chapter and actually FEEL BETTER. That is the power of good writing. Knocked Down made me giggle throughout and I got all choked up at the end because it was just so beautiful. This book is a gift. Go read it! I know you'll miss it, too.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Roberts

    I have zero interest in pregnancy, childbirth, or babies, but I loved this book--which is really saying something. In other words, the book is about more than just a high-risk pregnancy and bed rest; it's about grief, family relationships, marriage, and friendships. The narrator is funny, quirky, and very likable. I definitely recommend this book! I have zero interest in pregnancy, childbirth, or babies, but I loved this book--which is really saying something. In other words, the book is about more than just a high-risk pregnancy and bed rest; it's about grief, family relationships, marriage, and friendships. The narrator is funny, quirky, and very likable. I definitely recommend this book!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Staci Greason

    I've always loved a good "fish out of water" story and Aileen Weintraub's memoir Knocked Down certainly delivers. What's not to love in a story about a Jewish Brooklyn born-and-raised writer who falls in love, marries, and gets knocked-up by a stoic, lovable Reniassance guy before they've even started renovating his crumbling family farmhouse in Upstate New York? We got a loud family. We've got a family who holds it all inside. And that's just the set-up of this wonderful memoir. Before we know it I've always loved a good "fish out of water" story and Aileen Weintraub's memoir Knocked Down certainly delivers. What's not to love in a story about a Jewish Brooklyn born-and-raised writer who falls in love, marries, and gets knocked-up by a stoic, lovable Reniassance guy before they've even started renovating his crumbling family farmhouse in Upstate New York? We got a loud family. We've got a family who holds it all inside. And that's just the set-up of this wonderful memoir. Before we know it, Weintraub's doctor diagnoses her with an "unstable uterus" and our heroine is lying flat on her back in the farmhouse living room without air-conditioning (and at one point not even a front door) doing her best to learn the gift of patience with her reliable though somewhat challenging dog while her new husband is busy trying to keep a new business, the farm, and a marriage all together. Prone and mostly alone, Aileen has conversations with her deceased father who spent time on the family couch suffering from depression while she was growing up. She asks her straight-talking mother questions and learns about the inner life of her parent's marriage. Colorful, memorable characters make brief guest appearances: the UPS driver, the hardly-cleans cleaning woman, scary repair people, an elderly smoking friend, the guy in city who gives one-liner advice by phone, her loud mother and brother, her husband's reserved parents. This is a full circle kind of honest story with a cast of characters who are so well-drawn and lovable, it's hard to leave them when it's done being told. Aileen Weintraub writes with grit, humor, vulnerability, and a real love for the whole mess of being human. I just gave a copy to my mother.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    At some point, I'm going to learn to read the whole description of books before deciding I want to read it... or I won't. I do come across some enjoyable reads I likely wouldn't have picked up otherwise. LOL I am not a woman who is obsessed with children or pregnancy, nor do I usually enjoy hearing a lot about either. I don't hate kids; I just don't particularly like most of them all that much. I'm pretty ambivalent. So, a book about one woman's difficult pregnancy? Not the obvious choice. But y At some point, I'm going to learn to read the whole description of books before deciding I want to read it... or I won't. I do come across some enjoyable reads I likely wouldn't have picked up otherwise. LOL I am not a woman who is obsessed with children or pregnancy, nor do I usually enjoy hearing a lot about either. I don't hate kids; I just don't particularly like most of them all that much. I'm pretty ambivalent. So, a book about one woman's difficult pregnancy? Not the obvious choice. But you know what? I enjoyed this! After growing up in NYC, Weintraub finds herself recently married, living in an old farmhouse and enduring a complicated pregnancy and marital discord. There were moments I literally laughed out loud, beginning with a story about a funeral, of all things. The story is heavy on pregnancy details so if that really turns you off, this might not be the best fit, but as I said, that's usually a subject I avoid and I really enjoyed this. There are also stories about dealing with an old house, previous building decisions and contractor woes. This author is a great storyteller. Thanks to Tantor Audio and NetGalley for the ALC in exchange for my honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wulfe

    One of the most hysterically funny books I've ever read. Aileen is not afraid to put it all out there: she shares what others might not dare to create a world we can relate to on many levels while making us laugh along the way. Overall, this book is about how one woman copes with life, religious differences, marriage, moving to a foreign land (upstate), finding herself, relating to her mother ("My keys!"), and, good heavens, bed rest for the sake of motherhood in the midst of it all. I would give One of the most hysterically funny books I've ever read. Aileen is not afraid to put it all out there: she shares what others might not dare to create a world we can relate to on many levels while making us laugh along the way. Overall, this book is about how one woman copes with life, religious differences, marriage, moving to a foreign land (upstate), finding herself, relating to her mother ("My keys!"), and, good heavens, bed rest for the sake of motherhood in the midst of it all. I would give this more stars if I could!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    This book stressed me out. Aileen had a very difficult pregnancy, forced on bed rest for 5 months. I felt a lot of compassion for her husband, who bore the brunt of juggling three jobs while the debts mounted. Some of the scenes were quite funny: the jeep buying scene and parts of the delivery. It’s an interesting memoir. Thanks to NetGalley and the University of Nebraska Press for the early copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sadie-Jane Alexis Huff

    Lots of feels in this emotional rollercoaster of a book. I was lucky to be given the audiobook from the publisher and @NetGalley for an honest review. It captured my attention for the most part but I have to be frank, the narrator wasn't the best. In fact, she made this possible 4 star story fall flat. Still, i persevered. Lots of feels in this emotional rollercoaster of a book. I was lucky to be given the audiobook from the publisher and @NetGalley for an honest review. It captured my attention for the most part but I have to be frank, the narrator wasn't the best. In fact, she made this possible 4 star story fall flat. Still, i persevered.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Lani

    I read Knocked Down in two days, staying up wa-a-ay past my bedtime both nights. You wouldn't think a book wherein the narrator is stuck in bed through most of it would be that gripping, but it was. Aileen is placed on bed rest early in her pregnancy, and from the pull-out couch in her husband's family's falling-down farmhouse she battles loneliness, financial difficulties, and marital strain, while reflecting on her recently passed father and the loss of a close friend. I had to keep turning pa I read Knocked Down in two days, staying up wa-a-ay past my bedtime both nights. You wouldn't think a book wherein the narrator is stuck in bed through most of it would be that gripping, but it was. Aileen is placed on bed rest early in her pregnancy, and from the pull-out couch in her husband's family's falling-down farmhouse she battles loneliness, financial difficulties, and marital strain, while reflecting on her recently passed father and the loss of a close friend. I had to keep turning pages to find out what harrowing obstacle the universe would throw at her next and how on earth she'd find her way to the other side.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    A really fun book that's like talking to a friend who puts ahilarious spin on a lot of things we don't usually talk about. A really fun book that's like talking to a friend who puts ahilarious spin on a lot of things we don't usually talk about.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Lewis

    So happy to be able to read an advance copy of this charming, engaging memoir chronicling the months Weintraub spent (mostly) on bed rest during her pregnancy. Rich with Jewish humor, the angst of pending motherhood, and Weintraub's imagined conversations with her father, Knocked Down manages to swerve from poignant to laugh-out-loud funny -- sometimes on the same page --while weaving in loss (of various friendships, of her father, of how she imagined her pregnancy would be) and does it all seam So happy to be able to read an advance copy of this charming, engaging memoir chronicling the months Weintraub spent (mostly) on bed rest during her pregnancy. Rich with Jewish humor, the angst of pending motherhood, and Weintraub's imagined conversations with her father, Knocked Down manages to swerve from poignant to laugh-out-loud funny -- sometimes on the same page --while weaving in loss (of various friendships, of her father, of how she imagined her pregnancy would be) and does it all seamlessly.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Kolber

    An honest and candid memoir about bed rest, grief, marriage, and family. I laughed out loud and couldn't believe some of the medical hardships Weintraub endured to gestate and birth her baby. I also had a high risk pregnancy with fibroids and so felt a kinship with this author and her fibroid experience. I am grateful for this story to be in the world; we need more stories about the experiences and treatment of high risk pregnancies. Medical gaslighting is real and needs to be combated at every An honest and candid memoir about bed rest, grief, marriage, and family. I laughed out loud and couldn't believe some of the medical hardships Weintraub endured to gestate and birth her baby. I also had a high risk pregnancy with fibroids and so felt a kinship with this author and her fibroid experience. I am grateful for this story to be in the world; we need more stories about the experiences and treatment of high risk pregnancies. Medical gaslighting is real and needs to be combated at every step! I also loved this book for the author's depiction of a dysfunctional yet loving Jewish family--another kinship I hold. Honestly, this book was written for me! But it's a lovely read for all.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jana Eisenstein

    Having never been married or pregnant, I was worried I wouldn't relate to the author's story, yet from the very first chapter I was hooked. Aileen has an engaging way of luring the reader in like a friend and confidant. Her story is perfectly punctuated with humor and levity so that, as a reader, I never felt overwhelmed by the insane pressures she endured as a young newlywed experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. I also love the way Aileen wove her father into the story to parallel her own experie Having never been married or pregnant, I was worried I wouldn't relate to the author's story, yet from the very first chapter I was hooked. Aileen has an engaging way of luring the reader in like a friend and confidant. Her story is perfectly punctuated with humor and levity so that, as a reader, I never felt overwhelmed by the insane pressures she endured as a young newlywed experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. I also love the way Aileen wove her father into the story to parallel her own experience. Her relationship with him helps give context to her relationships with the others in her story - her mother, husband, and unborn child. He was also just a fun, quirky character to read about. If you're not sure if this book is for you, I highly recommend you pick it up and read the first chapter. This story describes a physically and emotionally challenging experience in a graceful, honest, and humorous way. And, after two years in a pandemic, I think we can all relate to the experience of feeling caged. If only we could all handle it as well as Aileen did in her story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Whoever would have thought a memoir about a high risk pregnancy could be so laugh-out-loud? This is such a comforting, feel good read whilst tackling serious subjects. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author shared her story in such a lighthearted way, and was sad when the book came to an end.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angela Yarber

    Emotional, laugh-out-loud, and page turner all come to mind in Weintraub's memoir. Read if you want to laugh, cry, and be changed in the process. Emotional, laugh-out-loud, and page turner all come to mind in Weintraub's memoir. Read if you want to laugh, cry, and be changed in the process.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of “Knocked Down” and super excited that I did. There have been many things in my life that I have experienced and when I started to read this book it brought back many of the feelings I had at those times. Were all of those happy feelings? NO but the way Aileen wrote about her experiences helped me and will help so many others work through events. So many women now deal with fertility, fibroids, PCOS as well as bed rest before, during and after preg I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of “Knocked Down” and super excited that I did. There have been many things in my life that I have experienced and when I started to read this book it brought back many of the feelings I had at those times. Were all of those happy feelings? NO but the way Aileen wrote about her experiences helped me and will help so many others work through events. So many women now deal with fertility, fibroids, PCOS as well as bed rest before, during and after pregnancy that the way Aileen explains her experiences it makes it more normalized and will help women not be so afraid or ashamed about it. This book was just what I needed when I received the advance copy and I can’t wait for a few friends to be able to read it as well.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Megan Margulies

    Reading this book is like sitting down with your best friend and talking about the hard shit--all while laughing and crying. Readers are lucky to hang with the hilarious author and go for the ride with her. If you've ever had to surrender to the needs of your body, you need to read this book. Reading this book is like sitting down with your best friend and talking about the hard shit--all while laughing and crying. Readers are lucky to hang with the hilarious author and go for the ride with her. If you've ever had to surrender to the needs of your body, you need to read this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The description of Aileen Weintraub’s Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2022) pulled me in immediately. A new marriage, high-risk pregnancy spent on bedrest, a potentially haunted house (what???), what’s not to like? I’m a sucker for a memoir, so I hit request on NetGalley and the book landed softly on my kindle a few days later. Many thanks to NetGalley, University of Nebraska Press, and Aileen Weintraub for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book The description of Aileen Weintraub’s Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir (University of Nebraska Press, 2022) pulled me in immediately. A new marriage, high-risk pregnancy spent on bedrest, a potentially haunted house (what???), what’s not to like? I’m a sucker for a memoir, so I hit request on NetGalley and the book landed softly on my kindle a few days later. Many thanks to NetGalley, University of Nebraska Press, and Aileen Weintraub for allowing me to read and review an early copy of this book. Aileen Weintraub lacks follow-through. From quitting Brownies in grade school to quitting jobs and relationships as an adult, she’s never been able to fully commit to much of anything. But once she meets Chris, all bets are off. Moving to her new husband’s creaky country house whose basement support beams turn out to be an old car (no, really!), her life takes a turn she wasn’t quite expecting when her much-wanted pregnancy is labeled high-risk, thanks to some monster uterine fibroids she wasn’t even aware she had, and Aileen is sentenced to full-time bedrest. You’d think lying around all day would be easy, but it turns out to be one of the greatest challenges of Aileen’s life. Unable to cook, clean, do anything around the house (including preparing for the baby), work, or help her husband out with the new business they just purchased (one of THREE jobs for him), she’s left feeling helpless, useless, and alone (three jobs make for incredibly long work days, and in an area where Aileen doesn’t know many people, this means spending most every day completely alone). Their marriage frays under the strain, and throughout this challenge, Aileen delves into the grief she’s still processing from her father’s death. This open and deeply honest memoir explores the difficulties of a pregnancy with unexpected challenges, and the toll it takes on everyone around it. So many of the other reviews I read for this book consider Knocked Down funny, but I didn’t necessarily experience it this way (though there are funny parts!). To me, this book was more raw and intensely emotional, along with being deeply honest. Aileen Weintraub isn’t afraid of painting herself in a way that isn’t always flattering but that display the frustrations and hardships of being confined to bed for months at a time. None of the pregnancy books I’ve read discuss the strain that bedrest causes on a marriage, and I very much appreciated her illustrating the guilt she felt, mixed with the occasional bouts of irrationality caused by being so isolated and stressed. With a husband working twelve-to-fourteen-hour days and a dire financial situation (basically, anything that can break or go wrong does during her pregnancy), Aileen is thrust into a situation she can’t truly run from, and along the way, she processes her grief from her father’s passing and the lessons she learned from him- how not to act, why she shouldn’t give up, and what their relationship meant. These bittersweet recollections give the memoir depth and showcase Ms. Weintraub’s ultimate growth throughout a deeply challenging situation. Knocked Down is a raw, emotionally honest memoir, fraught with the complications of a tough pregnancy and a marriage that can barely withhold the strain, but which is ultimately triumphant in nature, and hopeful. Ms. Weintraub’s genuine voice isn’t afraid to tell a difficult, painful story of doing the work necessary not only to survive, but to learn from those who went before us and to move beyond the mistakes they made in order to cling to what truly matters. More than just being about pregnancy and grief, Knocked Down is about true growth.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Eliason

    This book grabbed me from the first page and kept me turning pages until the end. On a trip to Alaska, Aileen Weintraub looked into an abyss, staring at the bottomless crater of a glacier and knew she would never work in a cubicle again. She was known among her family and friends as the person who “quit everything,” from the brownie troupe her mother finagled her into, to Hebrew school and the college she left, as she says, after “five minutes.” She quit her job at a publishing company in Manhat This book grabbed me from the first page and kept me turning pages until the end. On a trip to Alaska, Aileen Weintraub looked into an abyss, staring at the bottomless crater of a glacier and knew she would never work in a cubicle again. She was known among her family and friends as the person who “quit everything,” from the brownie troupe her mother finagled her into, to Hebrew school and the college she left, as she says, after “five minutes.” She quit her job at a publishing company in Manhattan and eventually moved to Saugerties in the Hudson valley, where she literally met her future husband, Chris, in the produce aisle of a grocery store. After the wedding, Weintraub moved with him to an old farmhouse built by his grandfather. They hadebeen married a few months when Weintraub became pregnant. At her 18-week visit, she is told that she has monster-sized fibroid tumors in her uterus, one pressing on her cervix, and if she wants to keep the pregnancy, she must go to complete bed rest. This changes everything. Chris had just put in a bid on a local tractor shop, and as he takes over the business, his life becomes consumed with the details of learning to run and manage it, dealing with customers, finishing up real estate sales, remodeling the house for the baby, and caring for his wife while she is flat in bed. As Chris becomes more overwhelmed and Weintraub becomes more isolated and lonely, the house begins to (literallyl) fall apart. Local contractors make more work for them, and a wedge begins to form between the young couple as each needs the other in a different way. Weintraub’s wit shines through with the humor that distance brings, while she also acknowledges the enormity of each situation, complicated by the empty spot left by her father’s death. As life changes, relationships change, and as her mother begins to fill the void, Weintraub asks about her parents’ relationship. She learns her father was not the idyllic figure she had made him out to be, and begins to see her mother’s strength. Along the way, we explore how Weintraub’s other relationships are changing. There is her life-long Orthodox Jewish friend Rachel who rejects her when Weintraub marries a Christian, the college friend who gives just the right advice, the new friend of a friend of Chris’, even the UPS delivery man, her Ob-Gyn and the specialist, all of whom are important because they are the only people with whom a woman at complete bed rest is allowed to interact. Humor lightens the tone as Weintraub struggles with issues of identity—who is she if not her work, her relationships, her previous image of herself as a competent person, now allowed to do nothing? As I laughed out loud, I found myself several times trying to explain the situation to my husband. How does she keep her sanity? Will the baby survive? Will the relationship, or will she quit this too? All are questions that kept me reading, anxious to get the end and hoping it turned out all right. While on the surface this book is about a pregnancy derailed by bed rest, it encompasses so much more—how relationships change, how we grow through adversity, and how those we idolize may not be everything we imagined. I won’t spoil the suspense by telling you how it turns out, you’ll just have to read the book. And read it you should! I highly recommend this book, and give it five stars.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jo Lee

    Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to listen to this book in return for an honest review. Synopsis Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship to the next. When her father suddenly dies, she flees her Jewish Brooklyn community for the wilds of the country, where she unexpectedly falls in love with a man who knows a lot about produce, tractors, and how to take a person down in one jiu-jitsu mov Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to listen to this book in return for an honest review. Synopsis Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship to the next. When her father suddenly dies, she flees her Jewish Brooklyn community for the wilds of the country, where she unexpectedly falls in love with a man who knows a lot about produce, tractors, and how to take a person down in one jiu-jitsu move. Within months of saying "I do", she's pregnant, life is on track, and then wham! Her doctor slaps a high-risk label on her uterus and sends her to bed for five months. As her husband's bucolic (and possibly haunted) farmhouse begins to collapse and her marriage starts to do the same, Weintraub finally confronts her grief for her father while fighting for the survival of her unborn baby. In her precarious situation, will she stay or will she once again run away from it all? Knocked Down is an emotionally charged, laugh-out-loud roller-coaster ride of survival and growth. It is a story about marriage, motherhood, and the risks we take. As a mother of 3, with a range of different types of pregnancies and births. I wholly related to Aileen Weintraub’s fantastic memoir. It genuinely is laugh out loud funny, yet it’s emotional, I cried in parts, I had little flashbacks, to my own pregnancy’s. I laughed at the coincidences in the absolute hatred I felt for the doctors in charge, the nicknames they were given. Having said that you don’t need to be a mother to relate I don’t think. You just need to have lived, loved and have a crazy normal family. It was absolutely fantastic. Beautifully written. Beautifully narrated. Perfect! #Jorecommends

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Black

    Knocked Down by Aileen Weintraub is a gutsy, hilarious and touching memoir. Aileen is a newly married expectant mother enduring a high-risk pregnancy, all the while living with her husband in a crumbling farmhouse. Her partner is a workaholic and their dog is seriously anti-social. The entertaining mix also includes awkward family dynamics, a cadre of unfeeling doctors and the completely incompetent contractors working on the house, all of whom become startlingly real through the intimate access Knocked Down by Aileen Weintraub is a gutsy, hilarious and touching memoir. Aileen is a newly married expectant mother enduring a high-risk pregnancy, all the while living with her husband in a crumbling farmhouse. Her partner is a workaholic and their dog is seriously anti-social. The entertaining mix also includes awkward family dynamics, a cadre of unfeeling doctors and the completely incompetent contractors working on the house, all of whom become startlingly real through the intimate access that Aileen gives the reader. At an early medical appointment while feeling exposed in the stirrups and ripped paper gown, Aileen discovers she has monstrous fibroids that are seriously compromising her pregnancy, and that she must confine herself to complete bedrest or risk losing the baby. Having only recently purchased a farm tractor business, her husband works fifteen to twenty-hours a day while also attempting to look after the couple’s domestic lives. Frightened, bored and more than a little high maintenance, Aileen has an impossible list of demands for him to fulfill. Needless to say, their marriage is seriously strained nearly to the point of breaking. Visits from Aileen’s Brooklynite mother who comes armed with a personal potato peeler, a suitcase filled with meat and Kugel do nothing to alleviate the pressure. Despite being plagued by serious misfortunes and uproarious complications, the young couple somehow manage to withstand the pressure and fight their way through together. This is a brilliant memoir and will touch the hearts of those who struggled through the early years of marriage, and women learning to redefine themselves as they take on new roles and maternal responsibilities. Highly recommended.

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