Choice  By  cover art

Choice

By: Jodi Picoult
Narrated by: Therese Plummer

Publisher's 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.

About the Creator

Jodi Picoult is the author of 27 novels, with 40 million copies sold worldwide. Her last thirteen books have debuted at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list. Five novels have been made into movies and four more— A Spark of Light, The Book of Two Ways, Small Great Things, and Wish You Were Here—are currently in developement. BETWEEN THE LINES (co-written with daughter Samantha van Leer) has been adapted as an off-Broadway musical. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, the Alex Award from the YA Library Services Association, and the NH Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit. She is also the co-librettist for the musical Breathe, which premiered in 2021, and of the musical adaptation of The Book Thief, which will premiere in the UK in 2022. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.
Photographed by Tim Llewellyn

About the Performer

Thérèse Plummer is an actor and award-winning audiobook narrator working in New York City. She has recorded over 350 audiobooks for various publishers. She was nominated for the 2019 Audie Awards for her work on the multicast Sadie by Courtney Summers for Macmillan Audio, multicast Any Man by Amber Tamblyn for Harper Audio, and her solo narration for The Rogue Planets Shaken by Lee W. Brainard for Podium Publishing. The American Library Association (ALA) awarded her work on Sourdough by Robin Sloan as part of the 2018 Listen List: Outstanding Audiobook Narration for Adult Listeners.
Plummer has been nominated for five Audie Awards in 2018 in the categories: Fiction: She Liked Her Life by Abbie Fabiaschi and co-narrated with Susan Bennett and Dan Bittner, Romance: Any Day Now by Robyn Carr, and Faith-Based Fiction: Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon, as well as the multicast narrations for Original Work: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Middle Grade: See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (winner). She is the recipient of the 2016 SOVAS Award for Irene Hannon’s Hope Harbor. She was nominated for two Audie Awards in 2014 for her work on Robyn Carr’s The Wanderer and Carson McCuller’s The Ballad of the Sad Café, and received multiple Earphones Awards for her work. Most notably on Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, Faith by Jennifer Haigh, and We Are Water by Wally Lamb. She was named AudioFile’s Best Voices of the Year for 2015 for her work on Robyn Carr’s A New Hope. Thérèse is the voice of Maya Hansen in the Marvel Graphic Motion Comic Ironman Extremis, Dr. Fennel in Pokemon, and for various Yu-Gi-Oh characters. She performed television guest star roles on The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, and Virgin River for Netflix. Regional theater: Sister James in Doubt.
Photographed by Jody Christopherson.

Dear Listener,

"Ever since hearing about the imminent overturn of Roe v. Wade, I have struggled to find a way to do more than rage against the system. I did what I always do when I’m upset—I wrote. But that wasn’t enough, and Audible understood my urgency to make an actual difference. To that end, I have donated Audible’s payment to me for this story entirely to the National Network of Abortion Funds, which remove logistical and financial barriers to abortion in a multitude of states where access to abortion is restricted or banned. Please listen, and tell your friends to listen, and if you are so inclined, donate to a fund of your own choosing that will continue to help women make choices about their own bodies." – Jodi Picoult, writer of Choice

What listeners say about Choice

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

76 people found this helpful

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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.

43 people found this helpful

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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

39 people found this helpful

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Makes having a baby sound like having an alien

The book is a clumsy attempt to win the pro life/pro choice controversy by asking men to imagine themselves being pregnant. Makes having a baby sound like having an alien. The book misses the point that men are biologically not designed to have babies, but women are.

37 people found this helpful

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Really?

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

29 people found this helpful

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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!

24 people found this helpful

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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.

21 people found this helpful

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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.

15 people found this helpful

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This!!

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

15 people found this helpful

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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/

14 people found this helpful

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  • Amyskinss
  • 05-24-22

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Philippa
  • 10-31-22

So good

This was amazing tbh, the story was good and the narrator was awesome. Such an interesting turn of events when the issue suddenly affects men 😅

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs R Allen
  • 10-19-22

FANTASTIC

I loved the premise of this short story, Jodie's brilliant response to the insanity of overturning Roe Vs Wade in the USA. For a country whose own much vaunted Constitution claims that all men are created equal, clearly it ONLY means MEN, even in this day and age. The story was brilliantly devised and delicious in its irony. It's a must read. I especially respect that Jodie Picoult is donating all profits from this book to organisations helping women who have been disempowered and impacted by the law change which means they no longer have any power over their own bodies.

1 person found this helpful

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  • penny lane
  • 08-02-22

ridiculous

spectacularly misses the point. if men woke up one day all midwich cuckoo'd there would be a brand new set of laws in place just for them by the same afternoon. awful and stupid, avoid if you have any sense!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-25-22

Brilliant

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • mumof3
  • 11-30-22

Brilliant

A brilliant thought provoking short story. Highly recommend sharing with everybody you know, especially the men.

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  • Leora
  • 11-27-22

An EXCELLENT listen!

An excellent, well written and a great food for thought book! EVERYONE should listen to this book and rethink about not giving a woman the right to make a choice over her body!! Praise for Jodi Picoult!!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-17-22

Surprise story

What a brilliant story! From the beginning til the last sentence! So clever would highly recommend!

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  • tazo
  • 10-14-22

Fantastic!

oh this was a sweet sweet listen lol thankyou for this i thoroughly enjoyed it . I will play this a few more times and tell friends too

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  • JJ Hurley
  • 10-12-22

More men need to read this book

I need to read this book. And especially the ones that make the abortion laws in America. A great short story really makes you think if rolls were reversed what would be happening in the world.

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  • Catherine Phillips
  • 06-01-22

Sensitivity handled

God must be a woman 😍 As an Australian reader we are seeing the events in the US from a distance. I am so troubled by recent news- it seems that a total rethink may be needed-women’s rights, voting rights and your right to live without the fear being shoot or going broke if you need medical treatment or prescriptions.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-22-22

Read this, share this and let women have a choice

Read this, share this and let women make their own choices about their own bodies.

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  • Jo Williams
  • 11-21-22

When the Tables are Turned

A classic "what if" cleverly penned revealing a thought provoking short story.
I hope every American man could take the time to listen & reassess the abortion laws.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-22

Amazing

so cleverly written, everyone should listen to this for a insider point if view on this topic

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rachel Beebe
  • 11-10-22

Wish it was longer

Would have loved a full story and follow on of their future births/ lives. Definitely wish it was longer

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-22-22

So Powerful

As a woman, this really spoke to me. This couldn't be more relevant, more important, more needed than it is today. And nobody could write or speak a truth like this better than Jodi.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-22

I wish it had been longer. What a great perspective

The end of Roe versus Wade is such a huge issue Jody picolt has made the issues relatable to all

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-22

Everyone should listen to this

A clever insightful discussion about body autonomy Jodi Piccoult challenges beautifully again. A wonderful story.

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  • Sandra C.
  • 09-12-22

Interesting concept

Tackling the very serious issue of abortion when the boot is on the other foot is an interesting concept and a highly amusing read. Thought provoking and packs quite a punch for such a short story.

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  • Lisa
  • 09-08-22

Thank you

Thank you Jodi for your work. Your unwavering support is balanced with passion and wisdom.