“I know now that there was no other way things could have turned out. Tragedies are inevitable, just like the great love stories, like us.”
Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne is desperate to be a mother. And this time, nothing is going to get in her way.
Sure, her husband, Gabe, is ambivalent about fatherhood. But she knows that once he holds their baby, he’ll come around. He’s just feeling a little threatened, that’s all. Because once upon a time, it was Gabe that Adrienne wanted more than anything; she was willing to do anything. . . . But that was half a lifetime ago. She’s a different person now, and so is Gabe. There are lines she wouldn’t cross, not without extreme provocation.
And sure, she was bitten once before by another birth mother—clear to the bone—and for most people, it’s once bitten, twice shy. But Adrienne isn’t exactly the retiring type.
At nineteen, Leah bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah’s got ideas of her own: Her baby’s going to get a life in California; why shouldn’t she? All she wants is to live in Adrienne’s house for a year after the baby’s born, and get a fresh start.
It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Gabe suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong?
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by William Morrow
**I received an advanced readers copy from William Morrow via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
I struggled with this book. I mean I really struggled with it. I'm not sure if I can put it into words effectively but I will try...
It started out as an adoption story where a couple was desperate for a baby. Scratch that...part of a couple was desperate for a baby. Each chapter went back and forth between Adrienne and Gabe as the story unfolded. Honestly the whole thing was just messed up. First off, Gabe did not want a baby but Adrienne did not care one bit in her selfishness because her desire was so strong. All of a sudden Leah entered the picture and the craziest not to mention dumbest (excuse my bluntness) adoption plan is hatched. I'm sorry but Adrienne and Gabe were conned once before, you think they would learn something and or be a little smarter. Once bitten, twice shy obviously did not apply to them. Once bitten, twice as dumb would better describe them.
Enough of the plot...here were my issues...
1. None of the characters were likeable, not even a little bit. Adrienne and Gabe were so selfish and self centred that it made it hard to get past the first few chapters without giving up. I am being really kind when I say that I disliked them. Leah screamed trouble right from the very beginning.
2. The story itself dragged on and on. The first three quarters of the book were not very exciting and there were so many rabbit trails that I struggled to get through it. I kept waiting for something, anything to happen. Everything was crammed into the end of the book. I honestly think a good 100 pages (if not more) needed to be deleted from the story in order for the timing and flow of the story to work effectively.
3. I knew the twist was coming but it came too late. I was no longer interested by the time it happened. It seemed like the desired effect was a Gone Girl type of plot but it didn't work for me. It was too busy and there were too many branches that it just made me more annoyed at it. I gave it a couple days before writing this review because I hated Gone Girl when I finished it but upon reflection I thought it was genius. My thinking was that I would feel the same way about this book but it didn't happen.
Obviously this book was not for me but I do however think that it would make a good book club book. I can visualise many a heated conversations about many aspects of this book. If it was shortened and the timing fixed I probably would have liked it a lot more.
About the Author
Holly Brown lives with her husband and toddler daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she’s a practicing marriage and family therapist. She is the author of the novel Don’t Try to Find Me, and her blog, “Bonding Time” is featured on the mental health website Psychcentral.com.