Waiting for Daisy
A Tale of Two Continents, Three Religions, Five Fertility Doctors, An Oscar, An Atomic Bomb, A Romantic Night, and One Woman’s Quest to Become a Mother
A Kirkus Best Book 2007
A New York Times Best Seller
Top 10 Book of 2007, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Winner, Books For a Better Life Award
“An absolutely wonderful book. I couldn’t put it down: it reads as easily and yet with as much texture as a novel. As always, Orenstein, is both so smart and so human as she tells her story — and ours, too — about her marriage, career, indecision, breast cancer, and whether or not she can, and wants to, and ought to, get pregnant. Sometimes the writing is wrenching, sometimes very funny, but always profoundly honest and engaging.”
— Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions
In a memoir with the power and resonance of The Year of Magical Thinking, and the quirky humor of Operating Instructions, one of the nation’s preeminent writers on women’s issues spins the astonishing story of her six-year journey to motherhood.
Waiting for Daisy is about loss, love, anger and redemption. It’s about doing all the things you swore you’d never do to get something you hadn’t even been sure you wanted. It’s about being a woman in a confusing, contradictory time. It’s about testing the limits of a loving marriage. And it’s about trying (and trying and trying) to have a baby.
Orenstein’s story begins when she tells her new husband that she’s not sure she ever wants to be a mother; it ends six years later after she’s done almost everything humanly possible to achieve that goal, from “fertility sex” to escalating infertility treatments to New Age remedies to forays into international adoption. Her saga unfolds just as professional women are warned by the media to heed the ticking of their biological clocks, and just as fertility clinics have become a boom industry, with over two million women a year seeking them out. Buffeted by one jaw-dropping obstacle after another, Orenstein seeks answers both medical and spiritual in America and Asia, along the way visiting an old flame who’s now the father of fifteen, and discovering in Japan a ritual of surprising solace. All the while she tries to hold onto a marriage threatened by cycles, appointments, procedures and disappointments.
Waiting for Daisy is an honest, wryly funny report from the front, an intimate page-turner that illuminates the ambivalence, obsession, and sacrifice that characterize so many modern women’s lives.
Additional Praise for Waiting for Daisy
“Moving and bittersweet, Waiting for Daisy is as funny, thoughtful, biting, reflective, as filled with fruitful self-doubt and cautious exuberance, as its author.”
— Michael Chabon, The Adventures of Kavelier and Clay
“Add to the best literature of motherhood Peggy Orenstein’s searing account of her six-year quest to have a child. The story of what she put her body through is beautifully and movingly rendered, but it’s her honesty in examining her own mind and heart that make Waiting for Daisy such a courageous and unforgettable book. I was enthralled.”
— Ann Packer, The Dive from Clausen’s Pier
“A gripping memoir of one woman’s quest for a baby … honest, fascinating, and wholly enlightening.”
— Cathi Hanauer, author of Sweet Ruin and editor of The Bitch in the House