At the age of 38 acclaimed novelist Julia Leigh made her first visit to the IVF clinic, full of hope. So started a long and costly undertaking of nightly injections, blood tests, surgeries and rituals.
Writing in the immediate aftermath of her decision to stop treatment, Leigh lays bare the truths of her experience- the highs of hope and the depths of disappointment; the grip of yearning and desire; the toll on her relationships; the unexpected graces and moments of black humour. Along the way she navigates the science of IVF; copes with the impact of treatment; and reconciles the seductive promises of the worldwide multi-billion-dollar IVF industry with reality.
Avalanche is the book that's finally been written on IVF treatment- a courageous, compelling and ultimately wise account of a profoundly important and widespread experience. At the heart of this work is an exploration of who and how we love. It's a story we can all relate to - about the dreams we have, defeated or otherwise, for ourselves, our loves and relationships.
'Leigh's a star and this account of IVF has all her brilliant luminosity.' Chloe Hooper
'An astonishing and unflinching personal account of an IVF journey - fierce, touching and redemptive.' Jane Campion
'Deeply personal, insightful and raw - Julia Leigh's story of her desire for a baby is beautifully told. I didn't want to put this brave book down for a second.' Sofie Laguna
'A brave, rare insight into the very private, often lonely experience of trying to have a baby with assisted reproduction.' Katrina Strickland, Australian Financial Review Magazine
'In spare, scalpel-sharp prose, Leigh describes the intersection of primal desire and wildly inexact science ... While much has been written about infertility, Leigh's memoir stands out because of her raw honesty and canny eye for the absurd.' Oprah.com, The Best Memoirs of 201
Award-winning novelist Julia Leigh was 38-years-old when she started IVF treatment. She began the gruelling process of blood tests, hormone injections and surgeries knowing that the odds were stacked against her. Yet she still held out hope that she would have a child, she would be one of the lucky ones. Avalanche is a brave and candid memoir of Leigh's all-consuming desire to have a child, and the way that desire took its toll, both emotionally and physically. From the endless tests and doctors' appointments to the breakdown of her marriage, the agonising uncertainty and pain of hopes dashed, Leigh relates her journey with incredible, brutal honesty. This is a compelling memoir about love, motherhood and the multi-billion-dollar IVF industry.
Reviewed by Cosima McGrath, Collins Booksellers Head Office