Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

“She's the type to turn hardship into hardness, like a shield for people she loves.”


Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn't hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn't happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames's boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she's pregnant with his baby—and that she's not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he's been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together?


I found Detransition, Baby to be really insightful, heartwarming, and comedic at times. I felt I knew Reese by the end of the book, her story the most intriguing to me. I also learned a lot from this book about transgender life. I listened to the audiobook and read the physical book, and definitely preferred reading to listening as I couldn't connect with the narrator.

All in all, this was a beautifully told, exceptionally written and original story from Torrey Peters. The novel is a National Bestseller, has been noted as one of the best books of 2021 so far by many publications, and has been Longlisted for The Women’s Prize. It deserves all the attention and recognition that it gets. 

I recommend checking out this free excerpt, courtesy of Penguin Random House. 

Photo by Natasha Gornik

Torrey Peters is the author of the novellas Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and The Masker, which are available for free on her website. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and an MA in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth. She grew up in Chicago and now lives in Brooklyn.

Detransition, Baby is available to purchase in hardcover from Indigo and in e-book format from Kobo. Check Penguin Random House CA for additional retailers.

Thank you Penguin Random House for the copy in exchange for an honest review!