The Unprotected: A Novel by Kelly Sokol
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I didn’t know it going in but this book takes place in my hometown of Richmond, VA and that made it all the more special to me. I could envision each and every thing in an entirely different way because I could see the places and things she describes. Yay, Richmond!
This is a very in depth exploration of motherhood – the quest for motherhood as well as the reality of motherhood. I resonated a lot with this story in part due to my own difficulty getting pregnant and my own experience after giving birth to my twins. This book did a great job at describing those experiences in a way that felt real to me as someone who has experienced them myself. It is brutal, raw, and real.
The character, Lara, isn’t particularly easy to like in many ways. She is definitely flawed and we explore every facet of those flaws throughout the book. Although I wouldn’t say that I related to her, I did understand where she was coming from and why she reacts the way she does. I didn’t need to like her to find her story compelling. In many ways, her inner arrogance about everything is what we see unfold as the story moves forward. I mostly felt sad for her, to know how disappointing it can be to finally get your wish and find that it’s nothing like you’d dreamed. There is a real rawness to this character and her experiences.
If you want to read a book that will help you understand what it is to yearn for a baby when your body isn’t cooperating, this book will deliver. If you want to read a book that will give you a realistic view of how life changes when a baby arrives, this book will deliver. If you want a book about how lovely it is to have a baby and how wonderful it all is, this book will disappoint. All in all, I definitely recommend this one. I was surprised by just how real it felt and how much it made me FEEL.
** Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. **