Note, the format of my Short and Sweet reviews differs in that they simply comprise the book blurb and a short response (hence, the short and sweet).
The issue of surrogacy comes to the fore in She’s Having Her Baby, albeit with a light, entertaining touch courtesy of a woman who has no intention of keeping her friend’s baby. Incubate, pop it out and move on … that’s her plan. Of course, true to chick-lit style, it doesn’t work. Here’s the blurb:
Georgie Henderson doesn’t want to have kids, but her best friend, Nina Doherty, has wanted to have a baby for as long as she can remember. Sadly, Nina’s uterus refuses to cooperate. One drunken evening, Nina asks Georgie for the ultimate favour: would she carry a baby for her? Georgie says yes – and spends the next nine months wondering why!
With intense bacon-and-egg roll cravings and distant memories of what her feet look like, Georgie tries to keep it all together in her dream job as the editor of Jolie magazine. Her love life’s a mess – and sauvignon blanc’s off the menu – leaving Georgie to deal with twists in her life she never expected.
Reading She’s Having Her Baby took me back to my own childbearing days, with all its angst, joy and uncertainty. I had my first at 23, way before any of my friends, and I’m pretty sure they thought I’d lost the essence of Monique … that I was boring, only talked about my son, and wouldn’t become interesting again for quite a few years. If only they knew that at playgroup I sought out the only other mother who was studying (me for my BA, she for her PhD!) just so we could talk about things other than tantrums and poos (not that we didn’t ever get mileage out of those topics).
Author Lauren Sams has stayed away from the “I-said-I’d-have-her-baby-but-now-I-want-to-keep-it” path, instead focusing on the comedic aspect of deciding to have a baby for a friend because it’s the “definition of selfless”. As Georgie says, “I’ll have the baby, give it to Nina, lose thirty kilos and everything will go back to normal.” What unfolds is a hot mess, when Georgie’s boyfriend breaks up with her, she loses her job … and more. However, despite the one-liners and laughs, the more serious issues of infertility, relationship breakdowns and career crises are not trivialised, and most of the characters come to a greater understanding of what’s going on for each other.
I especially enjoyed the excerpts from (made-up, I hope) parenting book Expecting Love – they made me laugh out loud more than once:
“I recommend introducing babysitters when your child is around 14 or 15 years old … Children experience separation anxiety for the first twenty-one years of their lives – and often upwards of this – so it is paramount they know Mummy and Daddy are always there for them.” (p195)
Overall, a fun, quick read – one for those who like their chick-lit on the clever side, with a dose of sarcasm.
Available from bookstores (RRP $29.99) and Black Inc Books. My copy was courtesy of Black Inc Books.
Bookish treat: Chocolate was consumed during the reading of this book. Peanut M & Ms, Cadbury’s … and a Mars Bar.