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Summary

In this thought-provoking short, #1 New York Times best-selling and award-winning author Jodi Picoult explores a dystopian crisis through the pinhole lens of an ex-couple experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.

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.

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.

©2022 Jodi Picoult (P)2022 Audible Originals, LLC.

What listeners say about Choice

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Brilliant

Such an interesting, thought provoking take on an all too common situation. I hope it reaches a wide audience, especially male!

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ABSOLUTELY BLOODY AMAZING

The concept, the meaning, how it is portrayed is AMAZING. As I was listening I kept muttering ‘genius, truly a work of a genius’.
Choice should be for all not just those with a penis.

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a must listen/read

this is a short and powerful story and a must listen. 38 minutes or so. A world where all of a sudden men get pregnant. Take the time to listen to this, you won't regret it. Well done Jodi.

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Every person should read this

Gripping, logical, perfect. All should read. Jodie, like no other author, has again manages to concisely make the perfect point.

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A very clever story! Loved it.

What a clever way to frame the challenges women face still in our world, Loved the reversal for men. This is only 30 minutes and it was to the point, with an underlying humour.

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  • NF
  • 19-06-22

Thought provoking

A short story to make you think. I would love it if Jodie Picoult could extend the story into a book.

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Yes Jodi Picoult! thank you for this

It’s easy to stand on principle when it’s other peoples lives at stake, not your own, but this is a brilliant illustration of double standards for men and women in the abortion debate. A poignant reminder that the consequences of an unintended pregnancy are far reaching and the terrifying potential future many would face if their right to choose is denied

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Great idea

Would like to see it as a film to gain a bigger audience, where it can explore all the topics / aspects more fully with characters and have some comedy too.
Hopefully then the sperm makers may have a different take on their role in pregnancy and the need at times for abortion.

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Brilliant!

Quite thought provoking - I wanted more when it had finished! It makes you think what abortion laws might look like if this were a reality… I loved it

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Everyone should have the right to choose...

Thought provoking and enraging at the same time. People have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. It's not acceptable that some places have exceptions to that rule.
Well done Jodi Picoult for writing Choice - a short story. Therese Plummer did an excellent job narrating the piece.

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  • Robert J. Ruhf
  • 19-05-22

This will only appeal to the already convinced

I will start by saying that I am pro-life. I listened to this audiobook because I always try to listen to perspectives that are different from mine. Unfortunately, this book didn't tell me anything I didn't already know about the pro-choice perspective. Never once does this book acknowledge that an “unwanted” fetus is a baby. The word "baby" is used a couple of times, but only in reference to the baby at or after birth. Never once does the author acknowledge that many of the leaders of the pro-life movement are women. Never once is compassion or concern shown for the baby. The baby is only seen as a burden for the majority of the characters who don't want it. Case in point: the following conversation actually takes place in this book: "I just don't get why he couldn't give it up for adoption." "Because if he was pregnant, he would miss training. If he missed training, he wouldn't be chosen for the Olympic team." And then later, "When a man says he doesn't want kids, it is because his dreams and his life matter more than anything else. When a woman says she doesn't want kids, laws are passed to remind her that's not her choice to make." The baby is viewed as nothing more than something men would reject if it hindered their career (if a man could have a baby), or as a means to take away a woman's "choice." Human life has little value when it is in the womb. This book will not convince anyone who is not already convinced.

52 people found this helpful

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  • Emilee
  • 18-05-22

A must read!

Relatable to any woman who has been pregnant, had a scare, or has even just had to contemplate what would happen if you were to end up pregnant. James woke up one morning with a swollen belly. Concerned and scared he immediately heads to a doctor to understand what is happening. As he waits he sees more men, all in varying stages of pregnancy. Yes, you read right, pregnancy. “Can I get rid of it?” With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, now James and all the other pregnant men must endure what every single pregnant woman must go through. The way it effects every single section of your life, whether your ready or not, whether you wanted this or not. A teenage boy, his first time. He used a condom, but it broke. He told his girlfriend “You can’t get pregnant your first time.” Now he’s the one suffering, belly grown and a fetus developing. He goes to his counselor. “Five years ago, I could have helped you.” Men are welcomed into the world of having your choice taken away. “When a woman says she doesn’t want kids laws are passed to remind her that’s not her choice to make.” Wow. This short story captivated me from start to finish. Giving me goosebumps at times, causing tears at other. As a woman who tried and worked hard for her pregnancy, I myself even lived through some of the struggles discussed in this. Imagining not having the privilege, the security, of knowing that this is something I planned for. It’s terrifying. Women, young girls, we’re stuck fighting all over again for something as fundamental as having a choice about our bodies. Women fought so hard decades ago, and to have it ripped away so quickly, so harshly. Nobody deserves this. Read, listen, and shout it from the rooftops.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Aries
  • 18-05-22

Brilliant

If men could get pregnant for real, they would be singing a different tune. Since they can't they have no problem telling women what to do with their bodies. Men do not want to use condoms or take birth control because of the side effects and leave all the burden on women. #MyBodyMyChoice #ProChoice

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  • Joe
  • 24-05-22

Absolute rubbish and delusional.

Picoult preambles her impromptu short story that her writing motivation was to be able to make a change. Good for her, but she does not absolutely nothing to convince the pro-life side of the argument. This book will only be considered by those firmly in her camp. And, in case it needs to be said, I am pro-life. I am the embodiment of her villain in this story.

Choice simply turns the supposed patriarchy on its head. Overnight, without any explanation, cis-gender men now get pregnant and women, and those that feel more like a woman than a man, do not. "It's not biologically possible!" claims a character, and yet it is so. Fine - I can suspend reality just as well as the next guy. Nevermind the fact that the men also have the sperm and now (I guess?) also the eggs that intercourse seems completely arbitrary. I think what disturbed me the most is not at this laughable and self-defeating premise, but that the world just kept going as if nothing had happened. That "birthing persons" could actually mean anything other than a biological woman and the world just nods and walks on. It's actually a terrifying reflection of how relativist we have become as a society.

Though a short story, Picoult proudly throws all patriarchy talking points into the narrative, an act of shameless virtue signaling. "Look at me! See how amazingly progressive I am!" It's transparent and cringe. I'm genuinely surprised that James' boss was a guy - ah, no! I see now - only a guy would think pregnancy was a hinderence to productivity. I hear ya, Jodi. Aside from this trope, we have the mocking of pregnant women being clumsy and emotional, and the emotionally disconnected "father?"....I don't even know...there aren't words! Picoult even threw in the "well you should have thought of that before you got pregnant". And the women rejoiced!! Their comeuppance at last!! It's like the best part of being a man, apparently, is to be a complete shitty person.

But probably worst of all is the misrepresentation of Roe v. Wade. For someone who proclaims such activism, it's alarming the dishonesty of the author. In the event the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, it would return the power closer to the people to the state level; it categorically would NOT ban abortions. The reversal would simply allow the states to make their own laws concerning abortion. And while it is true that there are states that have laws that will immediately restrict or ban abortions once Roe is reversed, there are states where access to abortion will be untouched. It's almost as if there is a diversity of thought around this issue! But Picoult is seemingly to argue that most states would ban all abortions - so, most people would vote for abortion bans? Abortion limitations? I'm not sure if she's right...I've heard most polls suggest that the majority of voters think at least some abortion rights are good. Regardless, Picoult seems to think it's true. Is she then really arguing against democracy? Yes, she is. Picoult would much rather a large overbearing government making national decisions. Abortion is not a constitutional right. Roe v. Wade was case law concerning privacy, and privacy is an inferred constitutional right. Therefore, the right to an abortion is an inference on an inference and that's a bridge too far in my humble and amateur opinion.

Similar to Picoult, I don't expect I'll be changing any views today. My reviews are for me anyway. But it's depictions like this dystophy that allow me to appreciate more the values I've been taught. A society of selfish living, transactional sex (mutual masturbation), and throw-away babies is truly appalling.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Pink Amy
  • 19-05-22

Big Issue Story

CHOICE is Jodi Picoult’s literary reaction to the (possible) revocation of abortion choice in the USA, which makes reviewing it difficult.

On one hand, the idea of men suddenly becoming pregnant and understanding the impact of not having choices, of being treated as “less than” in the workplace, of having the government decide what they can and cannot do with their bodies is interesting and Picoult addresses this brilliantly.

However, I don’t like In Your Face Issue books, even when I agree with the issue addressed 1000%. Picoult lost me when she repeated how not only women can get pregnant but transmen, non-binary etc etc etc. She lost me so much I almost stopped listening to the brilliantly performed audiobook. I loathe that biological women’s issues are being erased by the false inclusion of a small percentage of people who want to take away from the very real threat women are under in this country. The ever-growing string of people wanting to get in on women’s issues only been included once I probably wouldn’t have commented, but the multiple inclusions distracted me, made this an Issue Book and lessened my enjoyment of the story. Let trans folks have their own stories and books. Let bio women have space too.

20 people found this helpful

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  • J. G. Smith
  • 18-05-22

If only!

You just have to love Jodi Picoult! If only something like this were possible in today's world, it would certainly add an interesting twist to what is going on in the real world. Jodi is correct of course. If this actually happened, laws would change very quickly. She shows us this in a very dramatic and precise way how things could be different. Great listen!

20 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 21-05-22

Really?

I am pro choice but this was totally a political rant. It felt like something an eighth grade girl would write.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Admirer of great books; critic of bad books.
  • 18-05-22

EXACTLY!

Abortion is still legal. It's still your right. But the Supreme Court is prepared to end your constitutional right to abortion. Our country is facing an abortion access crisis. By this summer, 26 states could move to ban abortion — affecting 36 million women, plus more people who can become pregnant. This is personal. #Bansoffourbodies. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

13 people found this helpful

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  • Macy
  • 20-05-22

If only…..

This was a truly interesting, smart, fabulous listen. Imagine if…This should be required listening for anyone with a pulse. Women are being attacked each and every day. We are losing control of so much up to and including our own bodies. So many great questions and issues raised on this story, Yet another reason this is one of my favorite authors ever.

12 people found this helpful

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  • opiffle
  • 18-05-22

This!!

In a perfectly timed story, Ms Picoult hits the hypocritical nail on the head.

12 people found this helpful