Short Story Sunday: Choice by Jodi Picoult
Author: Jodi Picoult
Narrator: Thérèse Plummer
Published: May 18, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 2, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Short Story Description:
Margot and James are broken up—for good this time. James made sure of it when he dropped the bomb on Margot: that he doesn’t want kids, ever.
Then, on the biggest morning of his life, James—an ambitious lawyer at a high-powered firm—wakes up pregnant. He realizes with dread that he is part of a recent epidemic of men suddenly and inexplicably becoming pregnant. His condition obvious to the higher-ups, James is denied the promotion he was expecting, sending him reeling.
Meanwhile, Margot, a social worker, must handle the influx of desperate, pregnant teenage boys suddenly seeking her help. When she receives a call from James with the same problem, the challenge of navigating post-Roe America hits even closer to home.
**Please note: This content is intended for adults only. It features themes of pregnancy loss that may be upsetting to some listeners. Discretion is advised.
Choice was written by Picoult in response to the news that Roe v. Wade may be overturned by the Supreme Court in the near future. This short story is very timely and I feel that most everyone needs to read/listen to. It won’t be for everyone, per the disclaimer, and not everyone will read it. And yes, this is a controversial short story as abortion is a controversial issue.
In Choice, it has been five years since Roe v. Wade was overturned. This short story shows what could happen if overnight for an unknown reason that boys and men of all ages whom have had sex wake up pregnant. And not just ‘newly’ pregnant, but all stages of pregnancy with a variety of symptoms. Choice demonstrates how if the tables were turned what would happen to men and their lack of options in regard to pregnancy: From being passed over for a job promotion, to just being lost and scared in general as women are now.
I truly enjoyed this short story. It was interesting seeing how men/boys reacted to their pregnancy and their unique situations as women do daily. Women also cannot get pregnant anymore, so seeing both genders go in a 180 direction was something: Women have no cares anymore and now men have to be cautious.
Choice was currently free on Audible and I listened to it in 38 minutes during my commute home. I have never been pregnant, but there can be the possibility of pregnancy, and together my husband and I made choices for our life together. I relished seeing men lost in this new and unique worldwide situation. I would love to see Picoult expand this story into a full-length novel and focus on a few men and their circumstances over the course of their pregnancy and the decision they come to. It would also be interesting to know how this happened, but it may just be a ‘fluke of nature’ that happened to our species. Other questions arise in this world: What happened to the women who were pregnant before this event happened? Are they still pregnant? How will a man deliver a baby??? Of course, there are many more questions that could be asked.
The narrator was Thérèse Plummer and I always enjoy her, so along with the intriguing description, that made listening to this short story a must listen to for me. Bravo to Picoult for writing this short story and giving readers something to think about and women something to enjoy: The tables are turned for men and pregnancy! Who truly is the ‘weaker’ sex?
**This short story is only available through Audible and currently FREE