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The Misconceiver Reviewed By Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Saturday, November 19, 2022


Author: Lucy Ferriss

ISBN: 979-8-218-04271—4

Publisher: WanderingAengus Press

What may have seen as adystopian destiny when Lucy Ferriss wrote The Misconceiver inthe mid-1990s today appears much closer to reality with the SupremeCourt’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade. Although, with theresults of the recent mid-term elections, it may not emerge asdreadful as predicted, if you advocate for the right to have anabortion.

At the novel’s opening,Ferriss comments to her readers: “The fact that so much of the bookmay ring true today testifies to the adage that if you look aheadthree decades with a worst-case scenario hypothesis, you may hit themark. And that the time to change that future is now."

This deeply provocative,confrontational novel takes us to places we dare not go. To somegenteel readers, it may indeed be unsettling. However, it performsthe classical function of the novel, to raise profound questions andask us, “what if," Roe vs. Wade is reversed?

Set in a prophetic future,Ferris uses lucid, poetic prose to create a distinctive character inPhoebe, the story’s narrator. Phoebe assuredly does not shy awayfrom expressing her often caustic reflections revealing as much aboutherself as it does about other people in her life.

Gradually, thiswell-crafted narrative weaves the threads of Phoebe’s lifetogether- a young woman who expresses an angry craving for somethingthat no longer prevails. It is an ominous era when abortion isprohibited in all fifty states, amniocentesis is illegal, marriedwomen may not work, the worst punishment for rape is a paternitysuit, and homosexuality is taboo and back in the closest.

In the kickoff chapter,Phoebe recounts how she performed her first abortion on her oldersister, Marie, who was in her fifth month of pregnancy. Marie ran anunderground abortion clinic and persuaded her fifteen-year-old sisterto join her practice.

Marie preferred to keep itall in the family for fear that engaging a stranger would put her inperil of being revealed to the authorities. Her training to performabortions came from her mother, who was a nurse.

Marie did not conceive ofherself as an abortionist, but as a misconceiver, a term derived fromthe EUFIAM (Every Unwanted Fetus is a Misconception).

As the tale unfolds, welearn more about Phoebe’s family. When she was eleven, her motherdied when a grenade was hurled through the window of the abortionclinic where she worked.

We likewise learn thatboth her sister Marie and her brother are deceased. Her father hasAlzheimer, and she has hired help to attend to him when she is atwork.

We are also made awarethat Marie does not perform misconceptions for the money, which sheonly charges three hundred dollars, but for her sense of commitmenttowards her sister’s memory. And she vigorously believes in women’scontrol over their bodies.

Thrown into the story isPhoebe’s love affair with Arthur Levinsky, a surgeon who was theex-boyfriend of her deceased brother’s wife, Roxanne.

In addition,Phoebe has a niece, Crystal, the daughter of her brother Frank, whobecomes embroiled in all kinds of transgressions, including becomingpregnant.

Other characters thatinvolve Phoebe’s world include her cousin Lloyd, who operates asher agent in sending pregnant women to the clinic, and Lydia, hersupervisor at her day job, where she is involved with getting rid ofviruses from computers.

Phoebe’s life is turnedupside down when she is apprehended with scant expectation of beingreleased from prison. She is convinced that someone turned her in,but who is the wrongdoer?

She slips out of prison, goes underground,and goes after the woman whom she believes ratted on her. She hungersfor Arthur, who may have been the one who sold her out to save hisown skin, as he helped her gain the instruments to perform one of hermisconceptions.

This chilling novel,sharply written with mastery and depth, is far from a hasty read.Take your time and reflect about it. Ferriss’ writing makes thenovel more authentic rather than less, and as you listen to theexchanges between the characters, you feel you are snooping onnatural conversations.

In the opening pages,Ferriss informs us she has yet to update any details that occurredafter she wrote the book. She further remarks, the primary objectivethat she tries to pass on is what transpires in a technologicallyadvanced world where human rights retreat and we let the climatefounder remain.

Follow here To Read Norm’sInterview With Lucy Ferriss.

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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