In 1978, I remember all the media ballyhoo surrounding the first successful birth of a "test-tube baby" in Great Britain. I recall there were ethical dilemmas and debates surrounding the little girl named Louise Joy Brown. People worried about the stigma that would follow her. They wondered why her parents would go to such extraordinary lengths to conceive a child. Looking back at it now all the hoopla seems laughable, especially when you take into account just how far we've come with medical advances in the area of fertility.
In the novel Then Came You, bestselling author Jennifer Weiner takes on modern day parenting and infertility issues dealing with surrogacy, donorship, and parental rights. These roles are not always perceived as acts of kindness due to the financial gain that comes with the egg donor or surrogate's sacrifice. Infertile couples, or a single person wanting a child can access these services to help them fulfill their dream of becoming a parent, but it does come at a financial price. Then Came You looks at a different type of price paid by the egg donor and the surrogate as well.
For some people, the whole notion of surrogacy and donorship makes them think of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood which tells the story about young women whose slave like purpose in life is to carry the children for their owners. For infertile couples, these options and in vitro fertilization are viewed with a positive perspective since they give them hope and make it possible for them to make their dreams of parenthood come true.
India is a 43-year old woman who is trying to reinvent herself. She is newly married to a wealthy older man. She feels her fairy tale will be complete if she seals the deal with a child. There's a glitch with her pregnancy plan and after several unsuccessful IVF procedures and a miscarriage, she looks into other options.
Jules is a young, tall, blonde, beautiful, Princeton senior. She desperately wants to help her father beat his addictions, so she goes ahead with a plan to donate her "pedigree" eggs in an effort to put her father into rehab.
Annie is a married working class mother with 2 young boys. She wants to stop living paycheck to paycheck on her husband's salary. She decides that being a surrogate is the answer to help get her family out of debt.
Bettina is 24-year old woman who is accustomed to a life of privilege. Her father just married a younger woman who calls herself India. Bettina doesn't trust her new stepmother and becomes hell-bent on proving that she is not who she says she is.
Whatever their motives, these women's lives ultimately become intertwined when things don't go as planned. Then Came You makes the proverb 'it takes a village to raise a child" come to life. The story as a whole might make the reader wonder about how we measure motherhood and how we define family.
YUMMY MUMMY BOOK CLUB
The Yummy Mummy Book Club is reading Then Came You. We will have our Twitter virtual book club chat on Wednesday, August 10th, from 9:30 -11:00 PM EDT. If you want to participate in the Then Came You chat on Twitter just follow me @YMCbookalicious and the hashtag #YMBC. We hope to tweet you there!
If you want to join the Yummy Mummy Book Club and get in on future book club perks then sign up for the Bookalicious Newsletter for more details.
BOOKALICIOUS BOOK GRAB GIVEAWAY
Simon & Schuster Canada has a copy of Then Came You to give to two lucky Bookalicious readers who leave a comment related to fertility.
Yummy Rules and Regulations
You must be a Yummy Mummy Club member to win. Click to sign up! It's free and filled with perks. One comment per member. Entries accepted until Monday, July 18, 2011. Contest open to Canadian residents. Winners will be picked using www.random.org.
This blog is proudly sponsored by our friends at Simon & Schuster Canada"