This collection of thirty essays reflecting the life of a polyamorous, transgender, Jewish parent is also a deeply personal look at the everyday pleasures and struggles of raising a child with a large, unusual family.
In the first essay, “The Really True Story: Once and for All, of How We Got Stanley (with Footnotes),” Bergman introduces the reader to how he and his partner came to have their son, Stanley. Bergman humorously describes the search for a donor, realizing the importance of the donor being Jewish, and the awkward hotel ordeal. Making it through all of this, Stanley eventually arrives in the world to much adoration.
Judaism is not the focus of Blood, but it does have a constant presence in the background, and “Hiddur Mitzvah” is an essay specifically about Shabbat and how essential the tradition is for Bergman and his family. The story is a beautiful look at the Friday night rituals the family provides for Stanley, filling their lives every Shabbat with laughter and friends.
While Blood speaks much of Stanley and life with him, Bergman also addresses what it is like to be polyamorous. These essays are accessible to readers who may not have had much exposure to polyamorous people.
Bergman successfully conveys that he has many of the same joys and worries as any other parent as well as what it is like to be a queer individual in a world that is slowly becoming more accepting. The essays are written in a confiding manner. Above all, Bergman showcases how the love of Stanley brings together a wide variety of people forming a wonderfully supportive family.
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