Crossing the Moon

A woman’s struggle to have a child yields a joyful surprise- the birth of a new self.

“So how was it, I wondered, that I had arrived at this point in my life: almost thirty-nine years old, no child? When I looked back, I could see why, and even when, I took a sharp turn away from motherhood. I could also see why motherhood would catch up with me.”

In her memoir, Crossing the Moon, Paulette Bates Alden recounts her own initial ambivalence about motherhood, embarking on a course of infertility treatment, and coming to terms with not having a child. The book is also an exploration of growing up Southern and female in the fifties; the conflicts encountered by a whole generation of women in the ’60’s when feminism overtook the traditional feminine roles of wife and mother; the aging of parents; the “bending and mending” of a mother and daughter relationship; and the importance and meaning of writing as a life choice.

Readers' Responses to "Crossing the Moon"

“This book is by no means only for women struggling with infertility, no more than Moby-Dick is for budding whalers. Think of this more as a remarkable story of a perceptive writer’s journey.”
— BookPage


“…a memoir of defining personal conflict carried out with compassion, honesty, and grace.”
— The Bloomsbury Review


“…a full and rich memoir, the reflections of an intelligent writer who takes time to examine her past in order to understand her present… This book is both honest and reflective; Alden examines her emotions in a thoughtful, though by no means distant, way.”
— Minnesota Monthly


“Paulette Bates Alden is a writer’s writer, a stylist who illuminates both the inside and outside worlds with rare emotional precision. Her memoir displays a subtle intelligence that quietly addresses the deepest issues of everyday life. Her writing goes down easy, yet stays long in the head and heart.
— Blanche McCrary Boyd

“Paulette Bates Alden’s writing is precise and sensuous and pleasurable. But what lingers in the mind is her stubborn insistence on untangling the murky emotions within her and all of us–the sibling competition of hope and disappointment–and rendering those relationships in strictest justice. I have rarely read so moving and honest and fine a memoir.”
— Phillip Lopate


“The author’s gift for conveying the inexplicable and paradoxical, the supposedly instinctual, is what makes her memoir so compelling….Its wisdom and sensitivity ring true for all–women and men with children and without them.”
— Amy Wesolowski, The American Reporter


“Uncommonly sensitive and revealing….An eloquent examination without self-pity that helps resolve the now-common struggles of thirty-plus women who face not only infertility but the conflict between society’s expectations and personal fulfillment.”
— Kirkus Reviews