Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happiness Sold Separately (Spoilers)

I just finished reading this book and at one level, felt it was so far, so predictable (couple can't have kids, couple do IVF, wife in deep depression, husband has affair). At some point in their assisted conception roundabout she had one pregnancy which ended in miscarriage very early, and which was kind of glossed over. By about a third of the way through the book, I was thinking "well, my life is rubbish, but at least it isn't that rubbish". Although I haven't done IVF, the author appears to at least have done her research well.

Later, following a brief reconciliation, in a fairly predictable "pregnancy as dramatic device" storyline, she gets pregnant and they have two successful ultrasounds and a very happy early pregnancy doctor. Those who have followed my own story will perhaps be able to see what is coming. At her 12 week scan they don't see a heartbeat; woe is everyone; a neighbour dares to say "some things aren't meant to be"; chromosomal analysis reveals a lethal trisomy.

So far so likely, but we then veer into Very Unlikely/Has Been Reading Julia's Blog. The main character is diagnosed with a balanced translocation ("It's as if you have a spoon in your fork drawer and a fork in your spoon drawer" - while a good analogy it didn't really explain the consequences of an unbalanced translocation, but no matter). Following this the husband was lured to meet his ex-girlfriend by the ex-girlfriend's pre-teen son, who was obsessed with the husband, and had probably deliberately told the ex-girlfriend's violent ex-boyfriend (hope you are keeping up) that they would all be in a certain place. So, they were, and violent ex-boyfriend stabbed husband.

Of course I am at this point (and it was the middle of the night, because I couldn't sleep) thinking even more "Gosh, I'm glad my life is only a minimum amount of rubbish!". But then I still couldn't sleep.

One line I especially liked, towards the end of the book, is when they see a counsellor who suggests they also discuss "living child-free" and the main character says she doesn't feel free. I'm not sure I will ever feel "free", not having children.

1 comment:

Thalia said...

better review than I cuold have given it (i mean better written rather than more favourable) although actually I didn't like it much - I thought her first book was MUCH better. At least there wasn't a miracle child involved, though.