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March 05, 2007



I didn't know that stuff about PD James' husband. I still wonder how she came to choose infertility to be the way the world ends.

I love what you said about being between groups--being your own group since you don't fit neatly within the groups of friends. Is it also possible that by not fitting neatly, you're able to stand with a foot in many worlds? And be a beacon of support for so many people all at once?


Very interesting about the reference to the new child as the messiah! It never occured to me - and, a question to build on yours is why did the "new messiah" have to be male? Could this new figure be female, a real symbol of fertility, hope and new life?


It's times like this when I wish I were more up on my New Testament. Uh, his name is Luke - he was a disciple guy, right? Rolf - that was the name of the dog on the Muppet Show, nevermind. Miriam the midwife strikes me as Old Testament. And "Xan" what is that short for? Xanax? Theology. Pharmacology. I get confused easily.


I haven't read the book, but I've seen the movie. It sounds pretty similar. I just remember leaving there saying to my hubby, so thats what would happen if I just gave up. The world would turn to shit. Luckily us real infertiles are a bit stronger. In the story the world has collapsed because of infertility but that's what we're struggling with every day.


I like your comment about the fact that the parents were "flawed" giving you hope in the unpredictable side of life.


At times it did feel like James had felt some version of IF, but mostly I did not feel completely understood. Now finding out she had 2 children I feel a teeny bit betrayed. Although who is to say that she did not have difficulty having those 2 children?

Karen M

The dedication still makes me think that James has at least a passing familiarity with IF. I didn't know about her husband, though.

Not being a religious person myself, I think the religious aspects of the book were the ones I had the most trouble with. That was my question, by the way. I had the opposite experience with religion during IF treatments. I think Josh mentioned that James is very religious herself (Church of England), so that might have had a lot to do with it. You've got some great, thoughful answers.


We are all struggling to make order out of chaos and find hope in desperation and I think we are doing an admirable job.

I love this. Thank you.


I too picked up on the Christ-child theme. A helpless baby who is coming to save the world.

I really liked your comment on why James made both parents religious. The idea of a necessary "life-giving" source to the mystery of conception.


I didn't know about her husband either. That is very interesting!

I loved your answer to the last question!


"I think it does acknowledge the pain of infertility but this is definitely a secondary theme to the main one of totalitarianism and how it can become very popular in a time of crisis."
I also thought that in the end it was much more a book about other things than infertility--government, religion, and above all aging.

I'm thinking about whether Julian really does become more passive or whether she's calling the shots more within the group dynamic in a subtle but persuasive way. Theo points out on more than one occasion how individually minded each of the Fishes is, but they all are rallying around Julian (well, into Rolf realizes the betrayal that's happened). I think she herself--and not just her pg--exerts a strong influence in the direction of events here.

It's also very eloquent (and honest) how you wrote about looking for your place among women going in many different directions and the trouble of securing a place that truly fits who you really are.

Thanks for your ideas and making me think.

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