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The Baby Trail - Sinead Moriarty

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Author: Sinead Moriarty / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 09 September 2004 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: The Baby Trail / ISBN 13: 9781844880409 / ISBN 10: 1844880409

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    6 Reviews
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      18.06.2011 20:36
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      A lovely read

      The Baby Trail is the first in a trilogy of books by Irish author Sinead Moriarty.

      In this book we meet Emma, who is trying for a baby with husband James. Emma had thought getting pregnant would be easy. She had it all worked out in her head - come off the pill at Christmas, be pregnant by January, have the baby in September and lose all the baby weight in time for next years Christmas parties. Simple. Well, unfortunately, life's not always that straightforward as Emma is about to find out...

      After months of trying for a baby, Emma is still not pregnant. It doesn't help that it seems many of her friends are currently pregnant or have young babies. This includes Imogen, Emma's sister-in-law, who is expecting twins, and not being overly sensitive about Emma's situation.

      Emma suddenly finds she can't think about anything but babies and her life becomes filled with ovulation charts and fertility specialists. Will she ever have the baby she is longing for?

      The style this book is written in is easy to read, and being only 300 pages long, it's actually a fairly short book, and I found myself getting through it in one sitting - unusual for me, being such a slow reader.

      Emma is a likeable character, and despite her naivety in thinking that she would get pregnant immediately, I couldn't help but feel sympathy for her when she repeatedly failed in her attempt to conceive. Babies are of course an emotive subject with women, and I'm sure that this is a subject that many women will identify with.

      What I liked about the way this book was written, is that Sinead Moriarty injected humour into what is quite a sensitive subject. Emma's desperation for a child leads her to do all sorts of crazy and irrational things, such as turning up at her husband's workplace when he is in a meeting, ripping the buttons off his shirt and trying to drag him into a cupboard for sex because she's ovulating! Although I'm in no way saying there is anything funny about not being able to conceive, I think taking a humorous slant on things was the right way to go, otherwise this could have ended up being an extremely emotional and frankly depressing story.

      I suppose my one criticism of the book, would be that often when Emma was visiting fertility specialists, I felt that I was reading a medical journal rather than a novel. There are conversations with doctors that for me, could have been shortened down a bit, and still given the reader an idea about what Emma was going through without so much, for want of a better word 'technical' detail. Whilst I appreciate that certain drugs and tests are essential for those struggling to conceive, at times it felt like I was reading an FAQ on fertility drugs.

      Overall though, I would say that I enjoyed this book. As I mentioned it is the first of three, the second and third being 'A perfect Match' and 'From here to Maternity', both of which I will look out for in the future.

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        16.08.2010 18:29
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        Even those not ttc will enjoy this book!

        This is a review of the book "The Baby Trail" by Sinead Moriarty. I wasn't expecting it to be so good but it was that good I will definitely look out for other books by this author now!

        A bit about the storyline
        Emma is married with a lovely husband, great friends and family and her biological clock is ticking. She decides she wants a baby and that'll be right now please! Unfortunately, it turns out to be not that easy and as everyone around her is pregnant and popping out babies left, right and centre, it's just not happening for Emma. Numerous doctors, theories and tests later and her infertility is sending her crazy.

        Is it realistic?
        I think Sinead Moriarty shows a real understanding of the subject and works through the optimism, frustration and depression that Emma goes through with real insight and sympathy.

        Best bit
        Emma's sister Babs is a real character and lightens up the plot when the family get together. I loved it when she offers her eggs to Emma and husband James and they tell her "no thanks, we don't want our baby to have your awful nose!" in context it is funny...

        My other favourite bit is when Emma storms into her hubby's workplace and in trying to seduce him (at an inappropriate moment) rips his shirt open when he's half way through a meeting. Stinks of sheer desperation and that's exactly how he sees it too.

        My opinion
        I thought this would be another unrealistic attempt on the world of trying to conceive but I was pleasantly surprised by this book. For anyone trying, I'm sure the ovulation testing, temperature and constant obsession over peak fertile times and not missing any opportunity will ring bells.

        The ending is a bit of a 'will she or won't she' have a baby but you'll have to read it to find out!

        Final word
        I read this book in less than 24 hours, I just couldn't put it down. You really can connect and sympathise with Emma and how desperate she is to have a baby. Her family and friends underestimate just how much she wants it and her partner whilst supportive, really struggles to connect with her.

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          28.02.2010 21:51
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          Very well written!

          This is the first book of Sinead Moriartys that I have read - but as it is
          the first in a trilogy of books I was ultimately compelled to read the
          rest. It is funny, witty and really makes you laugh out loud, whilst also
          tackling the not so funny topic of infertility.

          The main character is Emma, and she introduces herself to the reader by
          stating that she was a normal girl until she started trying to get
          pregnant, and then she turned into Kathy Bates in Misery. Her whole life
          becomes encompassed by getting pregnant - she becomes ruled by her monthly cycle and when pregnancy seems unachievable - she seeks medical help. Bouts of clomid and bouts of ivf follow, and whilst this isn't a lighthearted subject, she does manage to put a lighthearted spin on what is actually a very tense time for a couple. Its realistic and will definitely pull at your heart strings.

          The way this author writes is captivating, and I couldn't put it down. I
          was desperate to know if she finally got pregnant (but I wont ruin that
          ending for you!)

          I bought this on amazon for £5.49. If you have kids, are pregnant or are
          trying for a baby - it will certainly reassure you that you aren't alone in
          whatever you are feeling.

          Really great book!!

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          26.09.2009 16:55
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          A lovely read

          Being a member of readitswapit.com I often find myself swopping books I have never even heard of and Sinead Moriarty was an author I can't remember ever hearing about let alone seeing one of her books about but I read the introduction and thought this would be an interesting read and I was right.

          In the first book of a three part series we meet Emma and James Hamilton a couple in their early thirties who have been married for just over a year and are now planning to introduce a baby into the equation.

          Emma is happy in her job role as a make-up artist and her husband is happy enough in his role of trainer for Leinster Rugby Squad. They both make the decision to start trying for a baby and Emma is convinced she has a plan that will work out just grand.

          * Come off the pill in December
          * Conceive by January
          * Have the baby by September
          * Hire a fitness trainer to lose the baby weight
          * Get the baby into a routine by Christmas

          After 2 months of trying things seem to be proving a little more difficult and Emma introduces Ovulation Tests into the equation to ensure that she is having sex at the optimum time and also cuts out alcohol and ensures she is having the healthiest diet possible. The internet is her main resourse for advice and she follows the advice they give her each month hoping that it will lead to a positive result.

          James is a lot more laid back about the whole thing and thinks Emma just needs to "chill" and let nature take its course and he is very patient with her demands that he drinks the most awful green tea and eats steamed fish and vegetables to produce healthy sperm and she also finds out that he must not pleasure himself in private whilst they are trying to conceive and when his wife starts following into the shower to monitor his behaviour and demands that they make love at certain times of the day his patience starts to wear thin.

          Emma soons begins to think something is wrong when month after month she has still not managed to conceive and decides to give mother nature a helping hand and begins to seek advice from medical professionals which involves all kinds of scans and internal examinations and when she is told that everything is functioning normally she carries on doing what she has been............but still no baby.
          Emma is referred to a gynacologist by her doctor and they then discover there may be a slight problem which is causing her difficulty in conceiving and more tests and exploratory procedures begin, Emma is finding that this plan was not all that easy and she becomes more and more desperate racing to her husbands office in the afternoon as she finds out she is at the optimum point to conceive and the fact that he is in a very important meeting certainly does not deter her and when James turns to return to his meeting she accidently tears his shirt and he is left to storm off fuming.
          Emma is becoming blinkered to her behaviour and refuses to see that she is acting unreasonably and continues on her quest to conceive including following James and the Rugby team to France and planning a relaxing break to Lourdes to try for a miracle!

          The book is funny throughout and from reading the back of the book I was expecting it to be a lot more serious but I believe the author had maintained the ideal balance by combining humour and facts with a real life scenario.

          The story is told in the first person by Emma and she takes us through the book well, introducing us to her family, friends and nemesis Imogen who is her sister in law that just seems to be the most fertile woman in the planet compared to poor Old Emma and it seems no-one can say anything without Emma going up like a bottle of pop.

          The novel is funny, touching and moving and you will laugh, cry and get frustrated like Emma does. I found it easy to relate to Emma's character, maybe because I am also desperate for my husband and I to have a child of our own but in the current economical climate it just is not practical for us until we manage to become a little more stable but like Emma I watch my friends around me all have babies one after the other and here I am still waiting, and although people say it will happen I just hope that the trail I go on will not be as long and complicated as Emma's.

          This is a great read and I can't wait to follow on with "A Perfect Match" and then complete the series with "From Here to Maternity" although I did not read this as quickly as other books I still found the story compelling and difficult to put down, the author had put a lot into the story and gave quite a lot of information about what a woman has to go through when they struggle to conceive and it was explained in a sensitive and manner that was easy to understand.

          Its a book I would recommend to any woman to read, it is rich in texture and is extremely moving and think it is an ideal addition to any book lovers shelf.

          Published by Penguin Books
          RRP £6.99
          ISBN 1-844880400

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            02.06.2009 17:57
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            A brilliant read!

            Just lately I seem to be stumbling across a number of wonderful Irish writers and I've just discovered another one - Sinead Moriarty! I have just read The Baby Trail which I believe was her first book and is also the first in a series about a young couple - Emma and James Hamilton - and their quest to have a baby. I found it was a brilliant read from cover to cover and it was the sort of book that I really did not want to put down.

            The subject matter is really quite sensitive as anyone who is trying for a baby will soon tell you. The book follows Emma's total obsession with wanting to have a baby - all the highs and lows although there are significantly more lows than highs! Emma starts off quite optimistically, like most people, expecting to get pregnant within a few months. She and her husband do 'it' at the most likely time of the month, she reassess her diet and makes sure she's giving herself every possible chance! However, within a few months, there is still no sign of a baby, so seeking medical advice, she finds herself subjected to all manner of investigations, a course of fertility drugs and eventually IVF treatment.

            Emma finds herself becoming increasingly desperate and often taking out her frustrations on her incredibly patient husband. However, at times he has to tell her she is going too far particularly when she turns up at his office when he is in the middle of a meeting, demanding to have sex there and then because it is the right time! Also he finds her booking a trip to Lourdes tom pray for a miracle just slightly difficult to take!

            Emma is a wonderful character and I warmed to her immediately probably because I could identify with what she was going through. I really was willing her to conceive by the end of the book and each time she wasn't pregnant I think I felt her despair almost as much as she did. Most of the story is told by her, in the first person, and because of this, you really feel you get to know the character and what she is thinking.

            Emma is also surrounded by a host of other wonderful characters who often create a welcome diversion to her plight. An overbearing mother, a younger sister who is in danger of going off the rails and a friend who is desperate to settle down are just a few. All are really well developed and perfect for the story.

            Although it is a sensitive subject the story is told with a great deal of humour and is really terribly funny in places. It is actually one of those rare books where I have not been able to stop myself laughing out loud. As I read much of the book on a train journey you can imagine some of the strange looks I received. Although it is funny though it is also incredibly moving and I am sure that there are many women who will read it and emphathise with what Emma goes through!

            Because of this I am not sure whether I would recommend the book to women who are finding it hard to get pregnant or not. It might provide just the tonic and help to put things in perspective but on the other hand, it might just hit too many raw nerves. Having spent a year myself, desperate to conceive after a miscarriage, I found I could really identfy with things Emma did. I remember being very aware of the right times of the month and almost jumping on my husband as he walked through the door, and I also remember the incredibly strong jealous pangs I experienced whenever I heard that anyone else was pregnant. As I am now lucky to have two beautiful daughters I was able to read the book and laugh but I don't think I would have been able to in other circumstances!

            This is an excellent book and I was very pleased when I realised that it is not the last about Emma and James. Sinead Moriarty's other books are definitely on my Amazon wish list now!

            The Baby Trail can be bought on Amazon at the moment for £5.49.

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              11.01.2009 15:34
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              A true to life romp through TTC

              A book for when the biological clock starts ticking just a little bit louder. The Baby Trail is the first in a trilogy of books following Emma Hamilton; a perfectly normal married woman who faces problems trying to have a baby. Each book can be read on its own but all three together form a fantastic heart warming story which really doesn't follow the plot you would expect it to at all.

              *Emma*

              At the start of the book Emma is like any other woman who expects it to all be so easy; 'come off the pill in December, have sex, be pregnant in January, have the baby in September, get a personal trainer in for November and have my figure back and the baby in a nice routine by Christmas.'

              I think that the book would be best read by women who have had troubles concieving, although the story in itself is great too. The parts where Emma is taking Clomid and going through hot sweats etc then expected to 'perform' at the end of it all were hilarious but only because it was quite sad at the same time.

              *The Hubby*

              James, Emma's husband is a typical bloke, he loves her loads and is equally desperate for a baby but like my partner he just doesn't get quite as obsessed as some women do. Emma goes to Lourdes to bathe, James agrees to go too but never actually goes in and tries to lie to Emma to say he went in. He'll support her to a point but after that he puts his foot down.

              *Is it true to life?*

              I really wish I was unable to answer this but unfortunately I know enough to say that Emma's reactions and ups and downs are scarily accurate right down to the post coital headstands. I've been there! Emma isn't over exaggerated though, it would be too easy to portray her as hysterical but in actual fact normal women do some quite hilarious thing when trying to concieve and it doesn't need to be blown up. My partner told me he was afraid to sit down in the house nowadays as I pee on anything that stays still long enough! (ok its not that bad only twice a day lol) There are plenty of giggles in this book which are even funnier if you have seen yourself do it all too!

              *Sinead Moriarty*

              Sinead grew up in Dublin, her mother was also an author of childrens books. She has now written five books, the trilogy, then 'In my Sisters Shoes' and finally 'Whose Life is it Anyway?'
              The Baby Trail has been translated in 20 languages.

              I'd certainly recommend this book to women trying for a baby and maybe for men to read to know that their wife isn't the only one going potty! This book isn't too heavy but it will make you think.

              Published in 2004 by Penguin.
              311 Pages
              RRP £6.99
              ISBN 1-844-88040-0

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