This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kelly Allen
This is the story of two women; opposites in every way except for one thing – they are both in love with the same man. Claire is married to Ben, and they are totally perfect for each other. They live in a pretty house, but it is missing the one ‘Thing’ they can never have: a baby. Romily is a single mother to Posie; they live in a tiny flat with hardly any money, and Romily dreams of the day when Ben will love her back.
When Ben and Claire’s baby dreams become completely unobtainable, Romily drunkenly offers to have their baby for them. In the light of day and horribly hung-over, Romily certainly regrets the purchase of her final tequila shot. However, when Ben questions her offer, she finally confirms her part in the baby plan. After an intimate evening with a loaded syringe and The Clash playing in the background for ambience, Romily falls pregnant with Ben’s child.
During the pregnancy, there is a surprise visit from Posie’s estranged father, Jarvis. His observations cause several hidden truths to bubble to the surface for each person; causing a rift between the various couplings. The near loss of ‘Thing’ ignites a love inside Romily’s heart that threatens the future of Ben and Claire’s baby dream. The question is: Will they all get the happy ending they all truly deserve?
I found this book captivating. Julie Cohen has constructed such well-rounded characters; I went from feeling annoyed by all of them at some point in the book, then concerned as they had their own personal battles within the story and then I fell in love with each of them for their standalone selves. My final emotion was sadness when the book ended. It is a fairly simple idea; that of two women in love with the same man, one shelving her feelings just to keep him in her life. Yet, the idea that she would carry his child for the woman he really loves seems almost unbelievable. However the characters, places and dialogue are written with such descriptiveness that they all (but especially Romily) appear as real as the people we see every day; their appearance, attitudes and behaviour all standing out from the pages of this riveting book.
My favourite moments were the ones that made me cry; Romily admitting to her love for ‘Thing’, Claire’s several moments of clarity and her growth as she learns to be happy with who she is despite other people’s opinions, the men’s perspective and how much they really feel for the women and children in their lives. The most prominent warmth I felt was for Posie; the witty, intelligent and slightly lost child who finally gets the balance she needs when the story ends.
This book is beautifully written and it won’t be long before I pick it up to read it again… and again and again.
I only wish it was the kind of story that allowed for a sequel. Perhaps it does…