Expected Publication: July 1st, 2014
By: Ann Lewis Hamilton
A mom, a dad, a baby...and another dad.
Laurie and Alan are expecting, again. After two miscarriage, Laurie was afraid they'd never be able to have a child. Now she's cautiously optimistic -- the fertility treatment worked, and things seem to be different this time around. But she doesn't know yet how different.
Jack can't seem to catch a break -- his parents are on his case about graduating from college, he's somehow dating two girls at once, and he has to find a way to pay back the money he borrowed from his fraternity's party fund. The only jobs he is qualified for barely pay enough to keep him in beer money, but an ad for the local sperm back gives Jack an idea.
Laurie and Alan's joy is shattered when their doctor reveals that Laurie was accidentally impregnated by sperm from a donor rather than her husband. Who is Donor 296? And how will their family change now that Donor 296 is inarguably part of it?
So, this is definitely NOT my normal kind of read. I tend to avoid what is termed "chick-lit" just because I never seem to jive with the overall messages, or endings that the characters receive. And lots of times, the characters turn out to be 20, 30, or 40-something pretentious, upper-middle class assholes. This is basically a book that alternates between an aimless and slightly douchey college student, Jack, and a suburban married couple named Laurie and Alan. The couple are going through a problem with infertility and have already suffered two miscarriages. The college student sold some sperm to make extra money. Due to a disgruntled employee at the clinic, the college student is now the biological father of the married couple's baby! After that, Laurie and Alan's marriage starts to break apart and all Hell unleashes. By the end of the book, they still haven't told their families, the grip they have on their marriage is tenuous at best and Jack is firmly established as a factor in everything.
At its root, this is a book about difficult decsions. I can understand things from all three sides of this triangle. Laurie and Alan BOTH went through those miscarriages together, and lost their children. And now that Laurie is pregnant, they're both excited. Enter the shocking news and Alan feels like he's lost another child. Laurie feels disconnected from her husband, because the baby is still biologically hers. She can't stand the thought of abortion, because in the end its still her baby. Then there's Jack, who is brought in by Laurie's curiosity, when he thought he'd have 18 years before having to deal with this (if ever). Alan is already struggling with not being biologically related to the baby, wondering if it will look like him, how it will affect their relationship, etc. Then he is told by Laurie she wants to meet the donor. He is upset, angry and hurt. But none of these people act like adult human beings, which is what made this book the most difficult for me.
My biggest gripe was that instead of telling Laurie how he felt, or in any way trying to deal with the situation, Alan falls headlong into an online relationship with an old girlfriend. He almost turns it into a real-life cheating situation. Then there's Laurie, who feels the need to know where her baby comes from and who the other half of its DNA belongs to. Understandable, but she seems unable to draw the line between "Father" and biological parent. She keeps bringing Jack further and further into their lives, until he's practically a third party in their marriage. It's really a hurtful thing. But it doesn't excuse Alan's blind jealousy of a kid (almost young enough to be his son), who technically has NO legal rights to the baby. That is something Laurie seems to forget, that Jack willingly signed away his sperm and that her and Alan are the ones in emotional pain. Also, why the FUCK would you not sue the pants off of that place???!!! Not a quite normal reaction. The other issue was why did they not even tell any of their parents or friends what had happened? Especially once they realized the sperm came from someone of a different nationality? Did they really think they could say nothing and that no one would notice when the baby looked nothing like Alan, and possibly of a different ethnicity? The situation with Jack's parents and sister was a bit much as well. NO RIGHTS, PEOPLE. NONE. And yet here is Laurie, edging out her own husband in favor of the sperm donor. Not that Alan wasn't a complete jackass, but still. I honestly couldn't stand any of these people. Understand them yes, think they were smart enough to live, NO. Not recommended to read, unless you want to see red with complete rage.
VERDICT: 1.5/5 Stars
*I received this book from Sourcebooks Landmark, on NetGalley. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication is July 1st, 2014.*