When Claire Stanhope married the man of her dreams, she had visions of positive pregnancy tests and adorable baby booties. She never imagined that getting pregnant would feel so impossible. But the reality Claire faces is much different than her fantasy of the path to motherhood.
As she struggles to survive the gauntlet of invasive tests, needles, and negative pregnancy tests, Claire must also face losing her mother, whose terminal cancer diagnosis has rocked Claire’s world. And when her main source of support, her best friend Mia, becomes pregnant, Claire feels that the world she knows is crumbling around her.
In a story about love and loss, the strength of female friendships, and ultimately hope and resilience in the face of tragedy, Claire must learn to redefine her idea of happily ever after.
Oh, this book–such a good read, but often so hard to read at the same time!
Claire and Scott were living a seemingly typical happily married life–until they decided it was time to start a family. After months of “trying,” medical intervention showed that Claire’s eggs weren’t as robust as they could be…so they decided to try fertility treatments. As the book opens, they are already well down that road and Claire is alternately becoming further discouraged and contemplating taking even more invasive steps. How far should they go? Is their marriage strong enough to survive the strain?
Also before the book begins, Claire learns that her mother is dying of cancer–adding yet another stressor to her life and relationships. To make things even worse, none of her friends are able to truly empathize with her–two of them aren’t interested in having kids, and the third already is part of a cozy family of four. Even though her husband *is* going through the same thing, he isn’t really–the bulk of the invasive procedures are hers, the “blame” that she levels for their situation is all on her–at times she feels like all he has to do is watch some p*rn.
Overly simplistic, of course, but it’s easy to see how she’d feel that way.
And the many things that supposedly well-meaning friends, family, coworkers, and even strangers have said to Claire along the way? I was both completely horrified yet 100% believed that they were fairly accurate. (Ask me sometime about the super fun things that people say to young widows…) The author has gone through a similar experience to Claire’s, so it’s safe to say that she’s speaking from a place of experience here–making the story feel very real and Claire’s pain almost palpable at times.
Claire and Scott’s story is a bittersweet one. It has an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending, even if it wasn’t exactly the one I was hoping for.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.