Accidentally on Purpose: The True Tale of a Happy Single Mother

Overview

At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never—not in a million years—on her own. When she finds herself unexpec­tedly expecting, she plunges into the greatest adventure of her life. With humor, insight, and compelling honesty, Pols reveals what it means to compromise in the name of love and to find joy in an accidental life, suddenly brimming with purpose.

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Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made

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Overview

At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never—not in a million years—on her own. When she finds herself unexpec­tedly expecting, she plunges into the greatest adventure of her life. With humor, insight, and compelling honesty, Pols reveals what it means to compromise in the name of love and to find joy in an accidental life, suddenly brimming with purpose.

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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
“[Pols writes] with humor and grace. . . . It’s rare to find such honesty, even in an account so personal. Grade: A-”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Sharp, witty and slightly self-deprecating, she alternates clever, camera-ready one-liners with intense self-revelations about parents, children, love and family….”
New York Observer
“Ms. Pols is a charming and insightful storyteller, and her memoir is both engrossing and endearing ...”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Her writing is mesmerizing and lyrical. I laughed and cried and shook my head at some of her choices, but I rooted for her and her son the whole way.”
Cookie Magazine
“Much as Pols’s story resembles the Judd Apatow movie, it is distinct in its heartfelt description of a woman who has come up against the edge of youth and expectation.”
Elle
“It’s funny, intimate, wise, and real, and we get to root for forty­something Mary, her twentysomething coparent, Matt, and their little son, Dolan, now four.”
Diablo Magazine
“Amid joy and heartbreak, Pols grows from a self-absorbed and judgmental whiner into a self-aware adult and loving mother. It’s her transformation that makes this memoir an unforgettable read.”
BookPage
“… a well-written, emotionally honest memoir of Pols’ journey to motherhood and increased maturity…. She details with wit and humor her efforts to juggle her many challenges…”
Peggy Orenstein
“...far transcends its particulars...thoughtful, funny and sexy...a delightful meditation on partnership, desire, fulfillment...”
Heidi Julavits
“Astutely witty...will grip you to the very last page. This is a feminist tale for our age.”
Kate Moses
“... [A] touching, funny, and brutally honest story...[Pols] is opinionated, vulnerable, droll, tenacious, acerbic, loyal...real.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Her writing is mesmerizing and lyrical. I laughed and cried and shook my head at some of her choices, but I rooted for her and her son the whole way."
Diablo Magazine
"Amid joy and heartbreak, Pols grows from a self-absorbed and judgmental whiner into a self-aware adult and loving mother. It’s her transformation that makes this memoir an unforgettable read."
Cookie Magazine
"Much as Pols’s story resembles the Judd Apatow movie, it is distinct in its heartfelt description of a woman who has come up against the edge of youth and expectation."
Elle
"It’s funny, intimate, wise, and real, and we get to root for forty­something Mary, her twentysomething coparent, Matt, and their little son, Dolan, now four."
Entertainment Weekly
"[Pols writes] with humor and grace. . . . It’s rare to find such honesty, even in an account so personal. Grade: A-"
San Francisco Chronicle
"Sharp, witty and slightly self-deprecating, she alternates clever, camera-ready one-liners with intense self-revelations about parents, children, love and family…."
BookPage
"… a well-written, emotionally honest memoir of Pols’ journey to motherhood and increased maturity…. She details with wit and humor her efforts to juggle her many challenges…"
New York Observer
"Ms. Pols is a charming and insightful storyteller, and her memoir is both engrossing and endearing ..."
Peggy Orenstein
"...far transcends its particulars...thoughtful, funny and sexy...a delightful meditation on partnership, desire, fulfillment..."
Heidi Julavits
"Astutely witty...will grip you to the very last page. This is a feminist tale for our age."
Kate Moses
"... [A] touching, funny, and brutally honest story...[Pols] is opinionated, vulnerable, droll, tenacious, acerbic, loyal...real."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061256943
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 792,234
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary F. Pols is a longtime movie critic and freelance journalist based in northern California. She has written for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Self, and Gourmet, and her film criticism appears regularly online at MSN and Time. A former Knight Fellow at Stanford, she is an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

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