>>Baby Proof by Emily Griffin <<
Recently i have been trying to cut back on the amount i have been spending so was quite happy to discover that pound land stocked books. I decided that £1 isn't a bad price for a book and if i didn't like it i wouldn't be wasting too much money.
On first inspection i thought that the book was going to be about a character wanting babies or something like that and was quite surprised to discover it was about the opposite.
The two main characters are seemingly happily married and they both don't want children until a close friend of theirs has a baby. Interestingly instead of making it the female (Claudia Parr) the character that wants children(or at least one) they make it her husband Ben.
The author puts across both sides of the argument quite well and i mostly sympathize with Claudia. The way she looks at things is that she has had the same feelings all along and it is Ben that has changed. Having a female lead that feels the way that Claudia does you would think that readers would hate her but this is not the case.I cant really say much without giving the plot away but i thought the ending was quite nice and suited the book.
Price wise i think it was completely worth the money and i would recommend that if you see it in your local pound shop to buy it as it is cheap but most importantly one of these books that is easy to read and hard to put down.
Claudia and Ben married each other safe in the knowledge that neither of them would ever want children. Until their friend gets pregnant that is. Ben very slowly decides he has changed his mind and that maybe just one would be nice. Claudia has to come to terms with the fact that Ben might be throwing away a big dream of his if he doesn't have a child, but she is adamant that she will not have one. It looks on the surface to be a very predictable plot and somehow I wish it was but its certainly not. I spent much of the book shouting at the characters to change their minds!
To cut a long story slightly shorter my partner and I have been trying for baby number three for 9 months now. As a result I am slightly obsessed with all things pregnancy or baby related. This book title caught my eye on readitswapit.co.uk just because it had the word 'baby' in it! On reading the synopsis I realised it was really the opposite of baby (whatever that is!). However what interested me was the idea of a woman being totally different to me and not wanting children at all. Claudia is possibly one of my favourite heroines in all my recent reads. She is amazingly strong, funny, sexy but above all stubborn. She isn't the cold hearted girl you'd expect from this storyline instead the decisions she makes are well thought through and I can understand almost where she is coming from. Ben is lovely I could imagine being with him myself, but he doesn't feature heavily in the book and for good reason. This story is about a womans choice and her need (or otherwise) for a baby. If Claudia hadn't loved Ben as much as she does then the story would fall at the first hurdle.
* The Ending * (Don't worry I'm not giving it away!)
This is so hard to cover since to do the argument justice I would have to discuss the ending which I'm not going to do. I will say though that the book ends with one of those cliffhangers that makes you wonder if a few pages have been ripped out of the book. It is right however that it should end like this. The ending is perfect, and true to Claudia and Ben's marriage.
I really loved this book and it is one of a very few that I will keep and re-read, I really did think that it was impossible to write a book about a woman who didn't want children without the heroine seeming cold but Claudia is great, and it made me think twice about my own biological clock. Children are so important to me I never really stopped to think about those who chose not to have them. My sister is about to turn 50 and has decided against children right from when she was a teen and I have never understood why, but I think I'm a little closer to understanding after reading this. I must say I did cry quite a bit reading this book, my poor boyfriend thought something was seriously wrong when he came into the bedroom to see me sobbing. Men never understand these things do they?
* Emily Giffin *
Emily Giffin is the bestselling author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue. She lives in Atlanta with her hubby and three children. Her next novel is also out now and is called Love the One You're With. This is the first of Emily Giffins books that I have read but I will go and find a copy of the other three. I am so far impressed.
The hardback version of Baby Proof was published in August 2006 by Orion. My paperback has a different cover to the one above mine is pink and has a lady on the front looking glamorous. I prefer my copy to the one above.
RRP £6.99 but you can buy it on Amazon for £5.59 or in the Amazon Marketplace for 1p. I got my copy from readitswapit.co.uk so I just paid for the postage to swap my book.
I joined a book swapping website called Read It Swap It well over a year ago now, and I still haven't gotten around to reading most of the books I have received from there. I was browsing my enormous "to-read" pile and saw this Emily Giffin book sitting there and it looked like a nice easy to read book which really appealed to me at the moment I was looking. I have read Giffin's books before and enjoyed them, so I hoped I'd enjoy this one as well.
Claudia has never wanted children, and she was worried about finding a man who would share her feelings on the subject. But when she meets Ben and finds out he thinks the same as her, the pair marry and are happily settled. But soon their friends start having children, and Ben starts to change his mind about babies. However, Claudia isn't willing to change hers and she faces one of the toughest decisions of her life. Will she be willing to lose Ben over it?
Considering most stories in the "chick-lit" genre you seem to read either seem to be about unexpected pregnancies, the woman wanting babies and their husband not, or families as a whole, this book seemed really different to me and I was interested to see how Giffin was going to tackle the issue of the female character not actually wanting to have children, which after all is something that does happen in real life. Also, considering that Giffin has 3 children herself, I wondered how much she was going to be able to get into the head of a character who didn't want the family the author has.
Although both characters had the same ideas when it came to children, it was pretty obvious that one of the characters was going to change their mind about this in order to give the novel direction and Giffin has done this change in a subtle manner. It didn't happen immediately, you could see hints that Ben was thinking about babies, and I did feel a lot of sympathy for him when he couldn't get his wife to even think about babies with him. Ben is well written, and is clearly meant to be the more sympathetic of the 2. I couldn't really warm to Claudia, I found her to be quite stand-offish but although I didn't agree with it, I could understand her personal thoughts about not having children.
I found this book cleverly plays on your emotions because for most people, the natural thing to do one you've found your love is to settle down and have a family with them. But Claudia doesn't want the family. The odd thing for me was she didn't seem to have much of a reason for not wanting children, she just didn't feel maternal enough. I feel if there had been a stronger reason for it I could have felt a little more involved in the book but as it happened I couldn't stop myself feeling that she was being a bit selfish, and I know that's quite wrong of me! Giffin used the sad lives of Claudia's sisters to emphasise the situation as well, as one sister was having IVF to have a baby, and the other has 3 children and her marriage is in tatters. This is what made me dislike Claudia a bit more, but again you can't hate her just because of her own feelings.
Giffin's first person narrative from Claudia's perspective allows you to delve right into the mind of Claudia from meeting Ben to the pair struggling with their differences towards children later on and the following story. As with her previous novels, its really well written and an enjoyable read, especilly beause it tackles an issue which I haven't seen widely in this genre. The characters were nice, although I would have liked Ben to feature a bit more but its understandable why he didn't. This is a very readable book which tackles a good subject in an excellent way, and I would recommend it.
The author Emily Giffin has written 2 previous best-sellers; Something Borrowed, and Something Blue. Her latest book, Love The One You're With, is out now.
ISBN: 978-0752881591. Published by Orion books in July 2007. The paperback contains 368 pages and is available new on Amazon for £5.59.
Official website: http://www.emilygiffin.com/