Dear Thing by Julie Cohen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is written around a subject I'd never think I'd feel much empathy with at all - surrogacy and the desperate need for a baby which can take over a couples life. Being Childfree by choice, without a single maternal bone in my body I've never been able to understand what the urgency to procreate is all about.
This book goes some way towards giving me an insight to what it might be like to feel your life is incomplete without the patter of tiny feet, as Claire is experiencing huge distress after yet another humiliating and soul destroying failed attempt at ivf and resulting early miscarriage. Her husband Ben completely misses the point as to why she feels unable to continue trying and experiencing the resulting failure over and over and pours out his heart to his best mate, his platonic long time female friend Romily, rather laddish, sport loving and total opposite to girly nest making home loving Claire, already a single Mum to precocious Posie (the only character in the book I actually liked)
When over a pint together Romily rather rashly offers to be a surrogate mother for the couple, Ben seizes on her conceiving through artificial insemination and carrying his child to full term for him and Claire as the perfect solution. Claire who doesn't know Romily quite so well as Ben, understandably has her doubts. But they go ahead and find that far from being the ideal solution this decision has its own far reaching consequences for all of them.
For Romily is hiding a secret of which Ben and Claire have no idea and must never know - She is and always has been deeply in love with Ben - so much that she will do ANYTHING to keep him happy even if that means bearing his child and giving it away at the end of the pregnancy ...
This story is about feelings and secrets and a bunch of characters I think Id actually loathe in real life allowing the reader a glimpse into their complicated relationships and fragmented world and its done with huge panache, the readability factor is great I just couldn't put it down once I'd begun reading and would recommend it to women of any age parents or not who enjoy a really well written drama.
The author has tackled this emotive and rather controversial subject head on and brings to the fore issues which are bound to arise when surrogacy is entered into and made it into a clever and hugely enjoyable read.
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