4 April 2012

Book Review: The Two Week Wait by Sarah Rayner

"After a health scare, Brighton-based Lou is forced to confront the fact that her time to have a baby is running out. She can’t imagine a future without children, but her partner doesn’t seem to feel the same way, and she’s not sure whether she could go it alone. Meanwhile, up in Yorkshire, Cath is longing to start a family with her husband, Rich. No one would be happier to have a child than Rich, but Cath is infertile. Could these strangers help one another out? Combining Sarah Rayner’s deft exploration of raw emotions with the joy and resilience of friendship, The Two Week Wait is a memorable, moving page-turner about two very different women, each yearning to create a family of her own."

Rating: 4/5

Although I haven't read Sarah Rayner's last book One Minute, One Morning which is a sort of prequel to this book, I decided that The Two Week Wait was certainly going to be a book that I would really enjoy because from the blurb, it sounded fantastic. I have to confess that the cover isn't overly inspiring and isn't one which would make me pick up the book to find out more as it's a little bland for me, but the story inside is certainly fantastic, and I'm glad I didn't judge this book on appearances. The Two Week Wait is an emotional, curious and fascinating read which is completely well written and very interesting to read from the first to the last page.

The story tells the tale of 2 women who are weaved intricately into each other's lives without ever knowing each other. Cath and her husband Rich are desperate to start a family together, but know this is impossible thanks to Cath's illness and consequent infertility so are looking for alternative ways to have a baby together, and are open to new ideas. Then there's Lou, whose recent relationship isn't going the way she planned, and a health scare makes Lou realise she wants to be a mum, despite the fact she may have to go it alone. Lou stumbles across something that might help her out, and consequently might help out Cath and Rich too without even knowing them. All it'll take is a two week wait...

This is quite a serious book, and perhaps would be better classed as women's fiction than chick lit, as it does deal with some serious themes such as infertility, fertility treatment, illness and grief too. The characters in the book range in age, with the younger Lou in her mid-30's and Cath in her 40's, but both at very different points in their lives, with different lifestyles too. It was heartbreaking to read of Cath's fertility after her previous struggles are revealed to the reader (if you've read One Moment, One Morning) I assume you'll know about that too. Rayner portrays Cath's struggle really well, from the emotional points of view to the more practical as well, and it was a fascinating read. It's clear Rayner has really done her research as well on the topics of treatment that Cath (and Lou) go through, there's enough detail in there for the reader to really grasp it without having your mind boggled over it all.

Both women, Cath and Lou, were really likeable and I felt for them both in their own situations struggling with tough decisions, and coming up against obstacles they never thought they'd encounter. I perhaps sympathised more with Cath simply because of her illness, and how unfair it seemed they would have to pay for IVF to have a baby after her illness and treatment, but Lou was also sympathetic. The way she goes about having a baby is somewhat unconventional I suppose, but I liked that Rayner covered this topic, and felt it was really well done and presented both the positives and negatives of the idea without being too biased either way. Again, Rayner writes it really well, and makes you think about how you'd react if you were in that situation as well as just reading and taking in what you're reading on paper.

It's a very emotive book that doesn't come with the usual happy ending, but while I initially didn't like this and found myself a bit upset and bereft at the ending of the book, with hindsight it was realistic of her to take it down this route because of course, life doesn't always end with a happily ever after. However, I was sad to leave these characters behind because I'd really gotten into their story, and felt emotionally connected with them after all they'd been through, and shed a tear or two as well. The Two Week Wait is a frank and honest look at infertility and an unusual women can undertake to have a baby against the odds, and certainly makes those of us who are able to have children without intervention feel very lucky to be able to do so. Cath and Lou were wonderful characters, and I found it especially nice in a way that they didn't meet, and were able to do something so amazing for pure strangers. A lovely and inspiring read, one to look out for!

You can buy The Two Week Wait as a paperback or an eBook now.

Thanks go to Emma at EdPr for sending me a review copy.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. Sounds a tad serious to me. For a lighter look at a serious subject I read Kathy Lette's new book recently and really enjoyed it.