Indie Book Review: Night Sweats by Laura Crossett

Night Sweats: An Unexpected PregnancyNight Sweats: An Unexpected Pregnancy by Laura Crossett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book started as a blog for friends about a professional single woman’s unplanned pregnancy (REALLY unplanned, as in the IUD failed, which is really rare.) It still reads like a blog, but since I’m into published journals, that was okay with me, especially since I probably never would have spent the time sitting in front of a computer to read Laura’s whole saga (I use the word lightly, it’s not a very long book), and I’m glad that I did.

I related to Laura — she is a librarian who lived alone (with a cat, who died over the course of the book — wish she had written more about that) with liberal politics and a tendency to write to make sense of her life’s biggest transition. I think that I would have been a lot like her if I ended up pregnant and unmarried, and (not to pat myself on the back too much), even though the pregnancy totally freaks her out (understandably), there’s still a sense of calm that somehow permeates her entries, and I get the feeling that she has a good head on her shoulders and that she is going to be just fine.

The book is professionally designed, well-edited (only noticed one or two errors), compelling and smart. I wish the author had done a little more to bring outsiders into her story — I could not keep characters straight because they were all referred to by letters; I appreciate Laura’s respect for anonymity, but I would have preferred that she use false names because names are easier to attach people to than letters. The narrative arc worked well enough, although I wish it had been more balanced — tons of entries early in the pregnancy, then a whole trimester without any entries. I found myself wondering if I would have liked this better as a memoir than as a journal, and I’m not sure. Still, it is a high-quality self-published book, and one I would recommend to people who appreciate the intimacy and/or voyeuristic pleasure of published journals or stories about pregnancy, especially unplanned.

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