Book Review – Detransition, Baby

Torrey Peters – 4/5 Stars

Read this if you:
· have a deep desire to always stand in good lighting
· have a limited understanding of the trans experience and want to learn more about people who identify as trans
· enjoy reading about imperfect characters who are deeply flawed while still being likeable

This book follows Reese and Amy, two trans women who were once in a serious relationship. Reese’s strongest desire in life is to become a mother but before they are able to adopt a child of their own, the pair split and Amy detransitions and becomes Ames. When Ames impregnates his boss/lover Katrina, he takes it as an opportunity to give Reese everything she’s ever wanted but the three of them will need to find a way to form their own kind of unconventional family.  

My thoughts on the book:
Wow – this book incredibly captured the lives of the two main characters. It took some time for me to get used to the idea that the plot wasn’t going to move along much, the story being told was really about the women and their internal journey to parenthood. I definitely took a lot from this book and feel as though I learned a ton about the highs and lows that trans women experience in their lives. I found it interesting to draw comparisons between Reese, Ames/Amy, and Katrina and how different the lives of the two trans women were compared to their cis peer. I have to say while I found Reese to be deeply flawed, I still found her incredibly likeable and I felt really sympathetic towards her, regardless of the poor choices she made. I absolutely hated Katrina. While she shared the same quality of being imperfect, I found it to be incredibly self-centred and manipulative to hang the future of the baby over Ames’ head and making all the characters’ futures as parents reliant on whether Ames would stay with her and take on the role of “dad”. While I did thoroughly enjoy this book, I felt like the writing was super wordy and it took me a while to get through because I felt as though I had to look up so many of the words the author used (maybe just a poor vocabulary on my part?). As someone with a limited knowledge and understanding of trans men and women, I found this book to be incredibly eye-opening and has led to a deeper empathy towards people who identify as trans as they are forced to deal with the difficulties of navigating their transition (and occasionally detransition) both in their communities and within their own bodies.

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