I am fast becoming a fan of the novels written by columnist Jane Moore, despite me never been a big fan of hers when I watched her on the likes of Question Time or saw her column, however this is now the second book of hers that I have read, and although I found 'Love on the Air' a tad predictable but enjoyable, this book 'Perfect Match' is even better, and although it may be a cliche, it really is a 'page turner'.
This books follows the lives of two married couples, whose lives very quickly become entwined with one another. Karen and Joe are married with a little boy called Ben, who has a rare health disorder which if not treated by finding a suitable match, may not grow to see his teenage years. The other couple featured in this book are cabinet minister Nick and his wife Stella, who after five years, and a further miscarriage, appear to be unable to have their own family. However everything is about to change when Karen gets some news from the doctor who had take DNA tests to look for a match for their son Ben. When the doctor tells Karen that Joe couldn't possibly be Ben's biological father, Karen realises that a one night stand that she had a while ago has obviously resulted in the conception of her son. This one time mistake that Karen made was as a result of a longer affair that her husband Joe had had with a lady at work, and Karen fell into the arms of another man when she felt vulnerable. This is the point at which readers see the link between the two couples. Ben's biological father turns out to be Nick he politician, but Karen and Nick now have a lot to think about. Will Nick's career as a politician be over? Will both their marriages be over? Will Nick now help Karen get the help she desperately needs for Ben? Will Joe stand by Ben who is no longer his son?
I really really liked this book, and found that I could not set it down. In fact, I had it read in one afternoon. Moore has made incredibly belieable characters, whose emotions were so genuine and real, and as a reader you really did feel that you were living out their nightmare with them. I empathised with both Joe and Karen at times, but I found it difficult to warm to Nick, who held up to the stereotype of the smug politician who surrounds himself with 'spin doctors' and cares more anout reputation than anything else. The only downside of the book was I thought it ended with a lot of loose ends, with the reader now being sure what was actually going to happen in the future - however you could argue that it just shows how good a novel it is with me looking for more at the end!A great read from Moore!
Karen and Joe Eastman are married and have a small boy called Ben. Unfortunately things in their life are not good, Ben has a rare medical condition and no one in the family is a perfect match for bone marrow to allow him to have a transplant. As a result Joe has to inject Ben every night with the medication he needs to keep him alive and take away his pain. Karen gets a call from the Doctor and soon learns that there is a way to save Ben and that is to have another baby who has been created as the perfect match for Ben.
Nick Bright is the Health Secretary and loving his life, he is happily married to Stella but not is all as t seems as she is struggling to get pregnant and when she finally manages it she looses the baby. Stella is pregnant again and Nick is thrilled but also scared for Stella. They live a different life from Karen and Joe and are used to the media attention but Nicks life is about o change for ever.
Karen and Nick have more teats to find out if they would be suitable for the designer baby but they discover that Joe is not the babies father and Karen has to reveal that she had a one night stand with Nick Bright and he must be to the biological father. Nick has to be told as they need him to agree to donating his sperm to create this designer baby. Joe is left devastated and soon Nick is facing the wrath of the media when it gets out that he fathered a child who is now sick. Stella is also devastated as she has again miscarried and thinks she will never become a mother.
Can Karen get Nick to agree to the designer baby to save Ben's life and how will this affect both Joe and Stella and their marriages now it is in the public eye?
Some may think that have given too much plot away for this book but all which I have revealed happens within the first two chapters so we have so much more to discover and read in this story and for me is was great how this came out so soon into the book as we got to learn more of how the two couple dealt with it.
I was able to warm to all of the characters in this book with ease with the exception of James, Nick's assistant as he was a nasty piece of work. We got to know just the right amount about each person for me to be able to know how their minds worked and why they felt and did what they did. The way they were all written about was good but not overly detailed and this gave me the chance to imagine them how I wanted to and picture them in my own way. We do have more than just the 4 central characters in the book and these people all fit in well and we do get to move away from the main story with little problem that they have and for me this helped to keep me interested in the book.
The storyline was good and when I read the first two chapters and found out what it was about my initial thought was that it was going to be very similar to the book My Sisters Keeper but I am happy to say it was not like this at all apart from the similarities in the start of the story. I enjoyed how we got so many different sides to the problem Karen faced and how another party was involved but did not want to be. I did manage to feel for all parties and understand their feelings. At times I did get so into the book I felt like shouting at the characters to be more reasonable and forgiving but I could clearly see and enjoyed this side to the story as it gave it a lot of different edges.
The book was very simple to read and all of the character were introduced in a simple way so I did not loose track of who was who and how they fitted into the story. I liked how we got the some extended family involved as this gave the story more depth. The book is split into easy to read chapters but I was still unable to stop reading at the end of the chapter and wanted to carry on to fin out what happened next.
The setting for the book was London and I was able to imagine the places they visited and talked about and found it very easy to connect to the place. I enjoyed the addition of a member of the Government as this gave me a different dimension to think about and how the public and press saw the whole story.
The book was written by Jane Moore and I have to say this is the first book I have read by her. I knew nothing about this book before reading t and confess to only buying it as it was on offer at my book club and was priced at just 99p! Will be looking out for other books by this author in future as this was such a great read. The book I have is the hard back edition and was published by Century. The retail price for this edition is £10.99 but do shop around as it will be much cheaper on Amazon.
This book is certainly not a light read but it is not overly heavy, the story is strong and full of emotion so this is not an ideal holiday read. I am giving this book a good solid 4 out of 5 stars. I may have given it the full five but their were one or two little parts which I think could have been told better and developed more.
I love a good book but, never seem to find the time lately to just sit down and relax with one! After buying this book a short while back because I have liked her previous books, I finally had a day off from work with nothing planned ain and so started this book whilst enjoying a bit of sunshine in the garden. I was straight into the book and finished it in a matter of about 4 hours reading time as I was literally devouring each chapter!
Jane Moore has had a few books prior to this one of which I have two and both of them I really enjoyed. She has .writen for various newspaper columns and was a journalist for 20 years.
Karen and Joe Eastman are a fairly newly married couple who have a young child Ben. However life is not as perfect as they had initially hoped it would be after having their first child due to the fact that Ben has a rare illness which means daily injections and lots of pain and upset. The only way for him to have a chance at being cured is for Karen and Joe to have a designer baby which will be a perfect match for him to have the all important bone marrow transplant.
This seems the perfect solution to Karen and Joe until during the process a terrible family secret comes to life that makes the tension for this family even worse. Will Karen and Joe be able to see past the troubles going on to help save their son before it's too late?
I love the fact that Jane Moore has managed to create such believable characters as this is what really brings the book to life! From the beginning we are thrown in with Karen and Joe and their daily struggle to give Ben horrible injections for his illness that he hates and hurt him. We can really feel for them and we see the strain the illness is not only putting on Ben but, also their relationship too.
Joe really is the main man when it comes to Ben in terms of it being a real 'father-son' relationship. He is the one who gives him is injections every night and sits with him whilst he cries. He comes across as very hands on and dotes on his son. It kills him to see his son in pain and he wants to do everything he can for him to help take away his pain.
Karen loves her son also and it eats her up every time she has to listen to him crying because of his injections. She also wants to do anything she can for him, but this means creating a new life that might not even be able to cure Ben. Can she really go through nine months of pregnancy when it can't even guarantee a cure?
Joe's brother Andy, his mum Gloria and Karen's best friend Tania all play a significant role in this book too. Their input is pretty vital and we meet them at certain points throughout the book along with other characters that prove to be very important. I don't really want to say more than that on the other characters as if I did it would spoil the book somewhat! However Moore really has managed to grip the reader in with the way she writes about the people in the book as she makes you really feel like you are in their world and for me a sign of a very good book is one of those where you find yourself thinking of them as if they were real. I certainly found this with this book and maybe that was part of the reason I got into it so quickly!
I bought my copy from Tesco for just £3 which I believe is a really good bargain for such a good book - another brilliant one to add to my ever growing bookcase! Of course you can always use the library or have a look at book swap sites to see if you can get it in exchange for an old one of your book but, I would never do this as I don't like to give away my books!
As you can probably guess I really enjoyed this book and was able to get right into it! I didn't want to finish it so quickly as I wanted to have a book that I was so into I could dip into it every time I had a spare moment or whilst in between calls at work but, I found I just didn't want to stop getting my fix and I read it that quickly I was upset it had ended! I think this book would certainly suit those who like a bit of 'chick lit' but, on a less naïve and 'all things happy' side. If that makes sense I mean it is definitely a book that is aimed towards women but, it has a much deeper storyline than the usual 'chick lit' that is all fairytale happy endings and slushy romance. The plot is certainly one that is normally disregarded by me as I prefer the more romance and happy story but, I have enjoyed her books before so I just bought it hoping I would enjoy it as much as her others. Of course I did and for this reason I would say to definitely give this book a try!
I am a fan of Jane Moore's column in The Sun newspaper every Wednesday, and I am also a fan of the novels which she has been writing since 2001, so when I heard she had a new release coming up, I quickly reserved it at my local library. But luckily, my mum purchased it when it came out as she too is a fan of Moore's writing and sent it on to me when she had finished, so I quickly devoured it as soon as I could!
Joe and Karen Eastman are feeling incredibly lucky - they are happily married to each other and have just had their first child together, a little boy called Ben. But things are about to explode in a bad way when they find out their precious son has a terminal illness, and one which is only going to be curable by the creation of a "designer baby", a brother or sister who is a perfect genetic match for little Ben. But during the process, a devastating secret is revealed which is going to rock everybody involvd to their very cores... can they still save Ben and save their marriage too?
The plot certainly isn't a light one, and is going to shock you and make you count your lucky stars that your children are okay...I know that when I got to the end I couldn't help but give Harry a big hug and thank the Lord that he is such a healthy boy! But this is what I loved about the book. It is very gritty, it delves into topics most authors would avoid and Moore really gets into the heads of the characters so that all of their actions are believable and you can really sympathy for all of them at some point throughout the book.
Because the secrets are revealed periodically throughout the book, I obviously am not going to spoil them for you now in this review, as that would be stupid. But I can talk about them in a general way. I didn't see most of the twists coming at all, Moore has a great way of writing which leads you in one direction and then shocks you with a massive revelation that leaves you completely shocked about, which is quite a talent. And despite the nature of the twist, I actually felt sympathy for all of the characters and I could totally understand the plight of all of them despite the horrible circumstances they have come to be in.
The main bulk of the book focuses on Karen and Joe, and of course their sick little boy Ben, although luckily he isn't in too much of the story, I think if he was I would have been weeping for most of it! The relationship between Karen and Joe is so realistic - a couple who have been together a long time, still love each other but have sort of drifted apart somewhat. Both of these were likeable people, and the way they interacted with each other, and with their son was readable, enjoyable and most of all totally believable and this is the best part of Moore's writing for me. Although there are others in the book, I don't really want to say much at all about them as I'll spoil the story, but again they are superbly written, really delving deep into their emotions and bringing out another range of opinions from the reader regarding the main story.
The cover of the book doesn't really give anything away about the story, its just a picture of a woman dressed smartly, throwing away a ring (wedding ring?) with pretty pink writing, which I don't think does justice to the gritty and topical story within its pages. Moore has really picked a controversial subject here, that of "designer babies" and whether they are right or wrong, but somehow the way she has written it makes you think there is no alternative but to have another baby, right or wrong. She doesn't preach at all about the subject, but clearly shows how any parent would have to choose to save their sick child, whatever the cost and this is why the book is so emotive, particularly for parents to read. Its not an easy subject to write about but it does happen and it is interesting to read a novel based around this idea.
I absolutely loved this book and I just couldn't put it down. From its interesting topic to the relationships and arguments that take place throughout the book, Moore has written a story which is going to be a pleasure to read for anyone but one that moves you and strikes a chord with you, so much so that you'll be thinking about this book long after you turn the last page. It has likeable characters, an emotional pull at the heart strings dottd throughout, and an easy-to-read third person narrative, allowing you to slip in and out of the lives of the multiple characters in the book with ease. It was a joy to read, I actually didn't want it to end but felt satisfied that as I turned the last page, I had enjoyed every word and that it had ended how I felt I would have ended it too! A pleasure to read, and I'd thoroughly recommend it without a doubt.
ISBN: 978-0434016860. Published in June 2008 by Century publishing. The hardback edition contains 362 pages, and is available on Amazon now for £6.59. For more information on the author and her other 4 novels, please see her website at www.janemoore.com. Jane also writes a column (well a page really) in The Sun every Wednesday, and appears regularly on television.
Thank you for reading.