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Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters Book Review

Reasons for Reading this Book

My main reason for reading this book is that I am a ReadHead, a member of The ReadHeads podcast bookclub and the book of the month for March 2021 was Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters. I was excited to read this book because it covered a topic that I have never read about before.

Content of the Book 

Prior to the start of the book, Reese and Amy were living the life. As a trans women in New York City Reese was exceeding expectations. She was in a happy relationship, was living in New York City and enjoyed her job. The only thing she felt was missing from her life was a child. Everything changed when her girlfriend Amy detransitioned and now went by Ames. Reese's coping mechanism for this change was to sleep around with married men. After detransitioning, Ames finds that he is still not happy even though he felt living as a man would be easier. Ames and Reese find their way back to each other when Ames knocks up his boss and lover Katrina. Katrina struggles with whether or not she wants to keep the baby. Ames suggests that him, Katrina, and Reese can raise the baby together. The book follows the personal and emotional journey these three take to decide if they can come together to raise a child in an unconventional family. 


What defines a woman and womanhood? What defined motherhood? The taboo topics of sex, gender, and unconventional relationships. You have the ability to create your own family. 

What I Liked About this Book

I liked that this book explored the taboo topics of sex, gender, and relationships through the personal experiences of the characters. Even though I have limited knowledge of Sex and the City I can still appreciate and applaud the continued references throughout the book. The connections made between the characters in this book and the show helped the reader to gain an understanding of the character through a reference instead of a boring description. I found the use of changing which character told the chapter to be helpful in learning their perspective on each situation. The format of the book is non-linear meaning it switches between present and past. At times I found this to be helpful to understand why the character would act the way they did but other times I felt a past experience was unnecessary. As a visual person I really appreciated the detailed visual descriptions of the side characters. For example the details and descriptions given of the friends were so clear that I could picture exactly what they looked like and how they would act. As someone who has never read a book on the topic of transgender people I would say that it gave me a perceptive of what life is like for them and made me feel emphatic for how they are treated. This portion of the book was eyeopening and very moving. Something else that I liked about the book is how they discussed that friends can be the same age but be in totally different phases. For example some people in the friend group are married with kids and others a single and struggling to find a career. 

What I Disliked About this Book

My main complaint about this book is that the present day part of the story was such a short period of time that the author chose to have the same conversation or experience be told from more than one character's perceptive. In my opinion this did not add to the story and just left repetitive. The story seemed to be dragged out. I had to push myself to keep reading. I also did not completely like one character and struggled to relate to them in anyway. The author seemed to dwell more on the unlikeable characteristics of the characters compared to the likable qualities. 

Would I Recommend this Book?

Quite frankly I would not recommend this book. Yes it was heartbreaking at times and eyeopening to taboo topics, but overall it was not a good read. For my first book on transgender issues it fell short. There were redeeming qualities about this book but in the end it missed the mark for me.

Check out my book reviews for 2021!!

Check out my book reviews for 2020!!

Check out my book reviews for 2019!!


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