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2.0 out of 5 starsTotally Miserable Read
Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2019
Although I agree with others this is a very sad book, my two star rating is due to the poor characters in the story and therefor the lack of empathy. Could there be a more selfish woman and mother on the planet than Milly. From her complete disregard to the feelings of her parents that adopted her, her lack of any compassion for her so called best friend and the sick comments at the end of how she relishes every day that Alice is alive when the child has already suffered so much. How can you call this love. I found Milly to be completely selfish in fact to the point of being mentally deranged. Matt the Husband was a total disgrace. As for the friend Anna, even her attitude and behaviour bordered on mental illness. I'm sorry but I do not understand this author as the characters did not behave in the normal manner when facing this type of situation, and I know this from friends experience, the story line was tragic, yes, but the characters were unbelievable.
Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2019
The decisions made in the beginning of this book were crazy!! I seriously doubt that anyone in their right mind couldn't see the train wreck that lay ahead. It's as though nobody could see that the "donation" was a horrible idea. As pointed out by another reviewer, Milly and Anna really do borderline on psychotic. This is probably the only book that I've read that actually made me angry. Milly came across as an ungrateful little troll, Anna a scary (like Chucky doll scary) control freak, and Matt and Jack are weak little men. The book was so bad that I couldn't even feel bad for Alice. God made a good call getting her away from those freaky people. Sorry, I did not like this book at all.
This is such a sad story, but for any mother or want-to-be mother offers a view of motherhood that is part of the chance you take for any prospective parent. I read this as I contemplated my life with my two grown adopted children. Two different experiences that one could imagine. Once you take on the experience of bringing different genetic backgrounds into your family you don't know how that will work out. I got 2 very different experiences with the babies I adopted but being infertile and knowing it since I was 13 and like in this book really wanted a baby and the family that I couldn't have naturally, I took the chance and went ahead with the adoptions. In both instances these children have made a positive addition to my life and I think mine to theirs, I wouldn't have it any other way. I read this book almost straight through. Staying up till 2am one night. It was sad but compelling and I highly recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 starsWe don’t always know the reasons for someone’s actions. We just think we do.
Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2019
Anna gives her lifelong best friend, Millie, a wonderful gift, a child. Everyone was thrilled., but complicated issues arose, destroying their relationship. Both Anna and Millie questioned how well they really knew each other, and blamed the other for causing their problems. But when a life threatening illness is diagnosed, they have to overcome their bitterness. Secrets were finally revealed and the understanding of each other helped them heal. This book made me realize how fragile our relationships really are. We think we know our best friends and parents, but do we really, when there are underlying issues that are never discussed, just glossed over, causing misunderstandings, resentments and division? I was also interested in learning about Batt’s disease.
his is a very compelling and thought-provoking book. Millie had always imagined her life as a mother, had everything planned and was her greatest dream. When she was told she would never be a mother because her eggs were not viable, she and her husband, Matt, were devastated. However, he knew there were other options, like adoption. Millie had been adopted and would never consider that option. She offers her point of view as an adopted girl who was lucky enough to have wonderful parents. She cried with Anna, her closest friend, almost like a sister, for 25 years. She would not give up and would try every option available - IVF, surrogate mother, whatever was available. She managed to give birth to a girl, without knowing at the time the dire consequences this decision would have for all. I think we are all the drivers of our train in life. Unforeseen and unexpected events may happen, an accident, a wrong turn, it is unavoidable. But when somebody tells you not to take a certain road because it is dangerous, almost impassable, full of thieves and murderers, and you make the decision to take it, then it's up to you. Unfortunately, people who are unable to accept their reality go to extremes, and if things do not happen as desired, they cry and ask: Why me? A question the book does not answer is if she could turn time back she would have made the same decision.
My father was born with hemophilia, a genetic condition that made me a carrier and forced to make tough decisions about having children in my 20's. This book presents a realistic, emotional gripping journey of what it's like to first struggle to conceive a child and then cope with an inherited condition. Have your Kleenex ready. You'll need it.
5.0 out of 5 starsKept my attention all the way...
Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2020
The author does a great job of sharing emotions that are totally human... not evil...just human. I do not know ho I would feel if I were Millie or Anna. I can hope how I would feel but I honestly don't know bc I am not in that situation. I do not judge any of the characters for being selfish or evil.! The author honestly presents true emotions that one might feel and think even though they themselves are often ashamed for feeling that way. The deep, deep love they all have for precious little innocent Alice, is what makes me love them all. I felt empathy for them and that is due to the author's ability to portray them as real human beings with genuine emotions. The author has done her research into this awful deadly disease, Batten Disease, and portrayed it as it is... heart-wrenching. The novel could have ended in a devastating way; however, the author decided to end it with some positive things to look forward to in the characters' future and with a somewhat peaceful acceptance ...even from young Alice herself.
5.0 out of 5 starsPacks an emotional punch. Brilliant.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 7, 2019
What does it mean to be a mother? This novel really makes you consider this question through the experiences of Milly and Anna, best friends who are both flawed, yet totally relatable. This novel packs an emotional punch and doesn’t shy away from exploring some very difficult themes head on. The plot draws you in to their situation and it is impossible not to empathise with both of them. As well as great characters and a compelling plot, the writing is so smooth that I read pages and pages at each sitting. A fantastic read and I will definitely be reading more books by this author.
From the very start I knew that this book was great. The emotion exuded from every single page as though the author had first hand knowledge of the subject. The two views of Anna and Molly were interpreted along similar lines but different and it was difficult to take sides. Beautifully written with compassion but so sad for both parties concerned.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2020
When I read that Millie and Matt had asked her best friend and his brother to donate sperm and egg so that Millie could have a baby, I thought it was a recipe for disaster. And it was going down the road I expected until something changed and it became much more tragic. It was heart-wrenching but not something I really wanted to read about. All the four main characters had damaging parents and backgrounds which had an effect on the way they acted. The pseudo "happy" ending the author provided us with did not redeem the overall tone of this depressing book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2021
This is a beautifully written book, packed with emotion and a lot of ethical values. This is the first I have read from this author and I really like her style. It is written from the point of view of best friends, Milly and Anna and I really liked this touch, however, there was once or twice I had to remind myself who’s perspective I was reading. I loved all four of the main characters and I really felt for Anna, I was really heartbroken that she lost out on 5 years of Alice’s life. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is about 3 quarters of the way through it became a little drawn out for me. I would of liked bits shortened and maybe a bit more about the relationship Anna did eventually build with Alice. Overall, touching and emotional page turner