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The First Man on the Moon

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Loved it! 😍

Funny and frustrating, Pehem's memoir dives into the world of surrogacy in Thailand with great style.

The idea of surrogacy has been a controversial topic in recent years with debates surrounding the morality and legality of the practice. Pehem’s memoir doesn’t delve too far into these arguments but instead provides one couple’s experiences of surrogacy, effectively highlighting their trials and tribulations. Pehem really goes in-depth about the process; finding an agency, an egg donor, a surrogate and a plethora of other factors that one might never have considered. He explains everything in a clear and concise manner; if a reader approached this memoir with no knowledge of surrogacy they could still enjoy it. At times, the section where the couple is choosing egg donors and surrogates can be quite repetitive, plus so many women come and go it can be hard to keep track of names. Some readers may be put off by this, but I found the repetitiveness very effective in conveying the growing sense of frustration that Pehem and his partner were feeling. You share their frustration with them at these seemingly never-ending delays.


Pehem as the narrator was wonderful. He doesn’t shy away from difficult periods or hide his own mistakes, making him a fascinating and endearing person to watch. It feels like a painfully honest memoir and I really enjoyed the moments when Pehem reflected on his situation, providing the reader with more insight into his character. Yet Pehem also has this great sense of humour which is sprinkled throughout. His sarcastic observations were fun to read and helped to add some lightness to the plot, which might have become too dreary without his wit. The highlight for me was his turbulent relationship with boss Alicia. Pehem’s descriptions of Bangkok were also well-done. He manages to evoke the hustle and bustle of this enormous city and the reality of living there, away from the tourist traps.


Overall The First Man on the Moon is a very interesting, entertaining read. Both funny and frustrating in equal measure, Pehem writes about a difficult topic like surrogacy in an accessible, sympathetic way. Though there were a couple of spelling mistakes, they didn’t really affect my reading experience as I was too sucked into the plot to notice them. Whatever your opinion on surrogacy is, The First Man on the Moon is at its heart a memoir about family and love, and certainly well worth checking out.

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Lou has been blogging on Random Book Reviews Web for nearly 3 years, reviewing a mixture of books from historical fiction to romance to non-fiction. When not reading she can be found at her local cinema, theatre or in her kitchen attempting to bake.

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Published on December 01, 2018

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70000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs

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