This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
Lewis and Rhea are not only connected by their search for the perfect stem cell in the biotech lab where they both work, but also by Lewis’s marriage to Rhea’s sister, Amber. While they become increasingly absorbed in their pursuit of further funding ground-breaking results, Amber battles with her unanswered need to be a mother. Fertility treatment seems to be the way forward and at least she has the support of her husband and sister, doesn’t she?
I was excited by the description given by the blurb, having never read anything like this before and I was determined to get into the story. Unfortunately, I was initially unable to do so. The first chapter was full of scientific jargon that meant nothing to me and it left me feeling intellectually inadequate because I couldn’t follow what was going on. After a few searches on Google and some jotting down of definitions, I delved back into the novel hoping to have a better understanding of the events taking place. However, the constant use of unfamiliar terminology left me feeling like an outsider and unable to get involved. For readers interested in this area though, who perhaps have some background knowledge, this would most likely not be the case.
The characters are not very likeable but are interesting. Rhea and Amber’s relationship is thought-provoking because they both seem to emphasise how close they are but I found no evidence to back this up apart from that they tended to say similar things at the same time. Both of them seemed cold, self-absorbed and quite selfish. Lewis seems to get swallowed up by the other two characters, unable to assert himself in any way other than as a scientist. Both sisters seem to value him but neither seems to really know or understand him.
Movement between time and places could be confusing at times because there didn’t seem to be any indicators to show that the character had travelled back into a memory that took place somewhere other from where they currently were. This meant having to read very closely to ensure that the events were understood correctly.
This is not a novel that you can simply read and enjoy without having to consider the issues raised. It demands active, close reading, without which it is very difficult to understand. It is not what I would call an easy read but that’s not to say there isn’t any value in taking the time to follow the progress of the research taking place.
To illustrate how the novel would probably appeal more to someone with a natural scientific curiosity, I did leave it lying around after a reading session, only for it to disappear. I found my husband quite happily ploughing through the pages and when I asked him whether he understood what was going on, he raised an eyebrow at me, like I was asking a daft question and continued reading. Afterwards, he confessed that he had found the stem cell research and scientific procedures that were part of it fascinating.
Not the ideal read for me but for any science enthusiasts out there, this could be perfect!
5/10MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK