When I read the synopsis for Dear Thing by Julie Cohen, I knew it was going to be an emotional read. However, this book was much more than I expected.
Ben and Claire have been trying to conceive for years, but even after several rounds of IVF, Claire is unable to keep a viable pregnancy.
Romily, Ben’s best friend, offers to be a surrogate for the two one drunken night after yet another disappointing round of IVF. What begins as a way for Romily to cheer her friends up, quickly turns into something real for all of them when the artificial insemination is success on the first try.
Ben expects this whole surrogacy thing to be easy because he and Romily have been best friends for years. Claire knows that this may not be the case, and she begins to get jealous of the bond that Ben and Romily are forging as their child grows in Romily’s womb. Romily, the woman at the center of it all, expected this to be easy. And she never thought that she would begin to love the baby growing in her belly. However, when she begins experiencing all of these confusing emotions, will the dynamic between the three friends be forever changed?
I will start off by saying that I was extremely impressed with the level of Cohen’s writing. Either she is an amazing writer and knows just what to say at just the right time in the story line, or she has a fabulous editor. Either way, I’m immensely impressed.
All right, on to the story itself. Cohen did a great job with adequately expressing her characters’ various emotions. I could feel the things that the characters were feeling, and that made the book that much more enjoyable. Ben, Claire, and Romily are three very well-developed characters, and all of them are vastly different from one another, giving the reader different perspectives and personalities to connect with. Posie and Jarvis, the two supporting characters that were most prominent, were also well-developed.
The story line itself, while emotional, was very well thought out. I have never gone through this, or known anyone who has, but it seems that she accurately portrayed the confusion, sadness, love, etc. associated with this particular situation.
The one complaint I have with the book is that it ended. I wanted to keep reading and see how the three of them were going to get along for years after the baby’s birth. If there was one thing I could change about this book, it would definitely be that it hadn’t ended quite as soon…or that it had a sequel in the works exploring the family dynamic of the various characters involved.
All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If you are looking for a book that pulls at your heartstrings, this is definitely the one.
Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by St. Martin’s Griffin. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.