Unplanned Parenthood:
The Confessions of a Seventy-Something Surrogate Mother

by Liz Carpenter

Fawcett Columbine, 1994. ISBN 0449909956.
Reviewed by Susan Wittig Albert
Posted on 12/14/2003

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Elders; Nonfiction: Relationships

And just when you think Liz's life must surely settle into some smooth sailing, she inherits her brother's three noisy, undisciplined teenagers. At 73, Liz is a mom again, opening her home and her heart, helping these kids chart the course to a new life—across a generation gap she says is "wider than the Grand Canyon." Facing drugs, sex, fast cars, punk rock, junk food, and the Bay of Pigs (her house), she manages to keep her cool, holding social discussions at the dinner table, confronting Puff the Magic Dragon (marijuana) head-on and no-holds barred, and managing to have a significant talk about the meaning of life with a 14-year-old on an exercise bike.

The job this surrogate mom took on isn't for everybody. Only someone as stout-hearted, quick-witted, nimble-footed, and smart-talking as Liz Carpenter could have done it. Thank heavens she did—and lived to tell the tale to the rest of us. It's nothing short of inspiring. Thanks, Liz!

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