Thursday, May 14, 2009 By: Suzanne

Audio: Baby Proof by Emily Griffin

To be honest I was not particularly impressed with this book. I thought the writing was good and the storyline interesting but something integral to good writing was missing: character development. The characters go no where. With the exception of one minor character in the book, no one changes. From the box:

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes...a baby carriage? Isn't that what all women want? Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seems too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.

In the interview with the author at the end of the story, Griffin says that she wanted to give a voice to the women who DON'T want children. They are not lepers and there is not something wrong with them, even though society makes them out to be. I applaud her effort. I, for one, am one of those women. I love children and get along great with them, I simply don't want any of my own. I have a friend who has a wonderful marriage. She also doesn't want children. People always act like we're crazy because of this.

In this book, Claudia's husband one day spits out that he's changed his mind. He actually does want children and he wants her to change her mind too. Claudia feels betrayed, especially when he enlists the help of their families. The book is surprisingly heavy for the chick-lit genre. I won't ruin the story by telling anymore, in case you want to read it yourself, but I was irritated with the end. Like I said, only one character (a minor one at that) has any type of inner journey. Even Claudia is exactly the same at the end and she's the lead character! She tries to change, I guess that's the important part, but it felt false. I was very irritated by the end of this book for a number of reasons. Her best friend, her sisters, and her husband all have major life complications that should make the most hard-headed of people take a different look at their life, but it simply doesn't happen, except in one case. It reminded me of a roommate I had in grad-school who, after watching the movie Sliding Doors (one of my favorites), stated,"I like that movie because it shows that no matter what we do in life, we can't change the outcome of our lives. It's going to happen whether we do something or not." FOR REAL??!! That's a positive message? Maybe I'm just weird but that's not comforting.


Ruthanne said...

I've seen this book a bunch of times and wondered about it. After reading your review, I'm thinking I won't waste my time.

Girl That Reads said...

I have this book on my TBR shelf, but don't have any immediate plans to read it just yet. I haven't seen many books about child-free couples so it seemed like an interesting choice. I do prefer books where the main characters aren't so static, but at least I know what to expect now!

Tonya said...

Keep in mind that I'm very harsh about books that I don't LOVE. Choose for yourself!