Knocked Down


Knocked Down

A High-Risk Memoir

Aileen Weintraub

American Lives Series

316 pages


March 2022


$22.95 Pre-order

About the Book

Aileen Weintraub has been running away from commitment her entire life, hopping from one job and one relationship to the next. When her father suddenly dies, she flees her Jewish Brooklyn community for the wilds of the country, where she unexpectedly falls in love with a man who knows a lot about produce, tractors, and how to take a person down in one jiu-jitsu move. Within months of saying “I do” she’s pregnant, life is on track, and then wham! Her doctor slaps a high-risk label on her uterus and sends her to bed for five months. 

As her husband’s bucolic (and possibly haunted) farmhouse begins to collapse and her marriage starts to do the same, Weintraub finally confronts her grief for her father while fighting for the survival of her unborn baby. In her precarious situation, will she stay or will she once again run away from it all?  

Knocked Down is an emotionally charged, laugh-out-loud roller-coaster ride of survival and growth. It is a story about marriage, motherhood, and the risks we take.

Author Bio

Aileen Weintraub is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor. She has written for the Washington Post, Glamour, NBC, and AARP, among others. She has also published several children’s books, including Never Too Young! 50 Unstoppable Kids Who Made a Difference and We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World.


“Aileen Weintraub has written a profoundly honest memoir that is sometimes painful but always loving, as she walks us through her journey from Brooklyn childhood to rural living. Heartfelt and often humorous Jewish culture meets rural farming culture, all coming together in the glorious Hudson Valley. It took us back to the best moment of our lives—the beginning of making a family.”—Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody

“This memoir of an almost inconceivably difficult pregnancy (pun intended) involves multiple dichotomies: urban/rural, male/female, Jew/non-Jew, life/death. Weintraub handles these oppositions with the deft, stunning, and mesmerizing touch of a writer who knows when to weep and when to laugh, when to hold on and when to let go. Whatever the opposite is of ‘elegy,’ this is it.”—Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences

“A gripping blend of humor and poignancy. . . . Weintraub’s keen eye for detail and breathless storytelling make this sharply observed memoir impossible to put down.”—Sari Botton, author of And You May Find Yourself: Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen X Weirdo

Knocked Down is a funny and poignant story of a pregnant urban girl suddenly uprooted and forced to rediscover herself in a possibly haunted old ramshackle farmhouse—a brave and vibrant story of self-discovery and grace.”—Aspen Matis, #1 Amazon best-selling author of Your Blue Is Not My Blue and Girl in the Woods

Knocked Down engaged me from the opening lines. This is a wonderfully nuanced story, at turns laugh-out-loud hilarious and heartbreaking, rooted in love, romance, community, and resilience. I loved this book.”—Elissa Altman, author of Motherland

Knocked Down poignantly and often hilariously reminds us that no one is exempt from life’s unexpected curveballs. Aileen Weintraub weaves her wry wisdom into this chronicle of how the choices we make can collide with circumstances beyond our control. This fast-paced memoir of a woman who is forced to slow down is proof positive that precarious situations can be overcome with family, faith, and especially love.”—Nava Atlas, author of Secret Recipes for the Modern Wife and creator of

“With characteristic warmth, Aileen Weintraub invites readers into the complexity of bodies and families, dreams and disappointments, pain and love. Knocked Down is moving, candid, and deeply funny.”—Cameron Dezen Hammon, author of This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession

“I was really nervous about this book, but every family has its secrets. So what? Doesn’t every mother pack a suitcase full of brisket to bring to her children? This book is about life and relationships and what happens when things don’t go as planned. I guess all those years I dropped Aileen off at the library so I could get an hour to myself once in a while really paid off. This is a good story. You should read it. But I’m still leaving the country for a few weeks when it comes out.”—Mrs. Weintraub, Aileen’s mom

Table of Contents

Author’s Note
1. Roots Run Deep
2. A GORE-TEX Primer
3. Produce Man
4. Cricket Hill
5. Monsters
6. The Pregnant Pause
7. Purgatory
8. The Whirling Dervish and Her Magic Meatball Sideshow
9. Operation Redecoration
10. Dos and Don’ts and Don’ts
11. Bras on Fire
12. It Comes Down to Blood
13. The Art of Conversation
14. Puttin’ Up a Fight
15. Blame It on the Cossacks
16. The Hex Upon Us
17. Power Equipment + Bed = Sexy
18. The Vanishing Penis and the Reason I Have a Therapy Fund Set Aside for My Unborn Child
19. Going in Reverse
20. The Muck and the Mire
21. Dream Crusher
22. Sandman Rising
23. Battle on Cervix Hill
24. Helter Skelter Swelter
25. The Man behind the Curtain
26. A Low Guttural Howl
27. Take Me Home
28. Meltdown
29. The County Fair
30. Gumption
31. Calypso
32. Courage and Cremation
33. Jeeps and Rabbits
34. A Shit Farm in Paradise
35. Settled, but Not Really
36. The Fibroids Ate My Baby
37. After Birth
38. Mother

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