19 July 2014

eBook Review: The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland

"At almost forty, Clare Donoghue is living child-free and loving it.

Then her boyfriend says he wants kids, breaking off their promising relationship. And it's not just boyfriends: one by one, her formerly carefree friends are swallowed up in a nonstop cycle of play dates and baby groups. So Clare decides it's time for people who don't have children to band together. And so the No-Kids Club is born.

As the group comes together?Anna, who's seeking something to jumpstart a stale marriage, and Poppy, desperate for a family but unable to conceive?Clare's hoping to make the most of the childless life with her new friends.

Will the No-Kids Club be Clare's route to happiness, or will the single life lose its sparkle?"

Rating: 4/5

You can buy The No-Kids Club as an eBook now!

I was really pleased when Talli Roland contacted me about reviewing her brand new book, The No-Kids Club. I've read a few of Talli's short stories previously, and I've enjoyed them a lot, and this sounded like a really interesting book. There's lot of novels out there based on motherhood, unexpected or otherwise, so the idea of a book about those women who did not want, or could not have, children was an interesting concept. As Talli is a relatively new mother herself too, I was curious to see how she would handle the story, and not make the main characters someone you can't relate to, which I sometimes find to be the case with a story like this.

Clare Donoghue is pretty happy with her life. She's approaching 40, she's single, child-free and has a good career that she enjoys. However, just as she is settling into her latest relationship, her boyfriend has a change of heart, decides he wants to have children after all, and so ends it with a devastated Clare, who thought she might have found the one. Clare decides she needs to connect with other adults who don't want children either, and so begins the No-Kids Club. Clare meets two women - Anna, whose marriage is feeling a bit worn and in need of some attention, and Poppy, who wants children more than anything but it seems like it isn't on the cards for her or her husbands. Will Clare be able to make some new friends at the club, or is her life destined for another path?

Due to the way this book was handled, you'll definitely to be able to love it, or even relate it to it whether or not you want children, or if you even have them too. I really enjoyed reading this straight from the beginning - the characters were likeable, especially Clare, and I really found myself liking her a lot. She's quite happy with her decision not to have children, but it's the social pressure from everyone else that gets to her - I think it is true that when a woman reaches a certain age, we all assume that she will start to want children, but that hasn't happened for Clare. When she decides to start the No-Kids Club, she wants to meet like-minded people, and you can understand that - although it isn't exactly what she gets at her first meeting!

The other characters in the book had differing opinions on children and families too. There's Poppy, who wants to be a mum more than anything, but nature seems to be going against her at the moment. I did feel very sorry for her, she was clearly torn inside about what was happening, but the things that she did in the book I had a hard time sympathising with, I felt she made bad choices and seemed a little crazy at times. I did like Anna too, who was struggling with her marriage, and although the pair were happy without children, you can sense Anna's fed up with her life somewhat. The three women represent many differing opinions on life as an adult, with or without children, and I enjoyed reading their relationships, seeing how they are all affected by their circumstances, and how they each dealt with them.

Talli's writing throughout the book was so easy to read, and I enjoyed every moment that I got to pick up this book. There is humour, emotion, sadness, shock and lots more covered in this novel, and Talli Roland really brings everything about this story to life, from the characters to the setting. Talli was able to put across these differing views about parenthood so well, you can understand each of these characters, in particular Clare, and begin to empathise with them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish, a subject that is perhaps still a bit taboo is covered really well here, and written in a way that makes you want to keep reading until you reach the final page! If you haven't discovered Talli Roland yet, you won't do far wrong from beginning with this book, a brilliant read.

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