Saturday, October 4, 2014

Then There was You by Jennifer Weiner

I have read some of Jennifer Weiner's books in the past. I know that she's unusually prolific so I haven't read anything of hers in a while. I was surprised to find out that this book was all about surrogacy and egg donation instead of the usual chick-lit stuff. The story is told from differing perspectives. The first person we meet is Jules. Jules is a Princeton student, soon to be graduate, with a secret that she keeps from most of her classmates. She comes from a seriously broken family. She's also extremely beautiful and is at a loss as to why it attracts both men and women. It also attracts the attention of a person that works for an egg donation clinic, who is interested in her body but not in the normal way. We also meet Annie, a hard-working, blue collar mother of two and wife with two children and a husband that works for the TSA. Their small family lives in a beautiful farmhouse outside of Philadelphia. There is also the trophy wife: India. She's a chick lit staple: She's in search of a baby, she's a gold digging Manhattan socialite who works as a PR executive and who isn't all that she seems to be. She has snagged a wealthy, older man despite the fact that everything from her face to her name and past has been made up. Surprisingly, felt bad for her inspite of her awful actions.

My favorite part of this book was hearing the different voices and seeing the different perspectives. What were seemingly unrelated stories were later intertwined. A weakness of this same literary ploy, however, was that towards the end, I felt that things were too neatly and quickly intertwined. Life is oftentimes very much more messy and complicated particularly with regards to babies and reproduction than Weiner would have us believe from reading this book. Emotions and other practical matters never resolve as quickly as one would have us believe. It's also not a very complicated or quick read. This is not a book that you can sink your teeth into on a cold day. But it would be great as a beach read or something to distract you during a very trying period in your life.

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