Thursday, October 18, 2007

Book Review: Baby Proof

Too busy to blog does not mean too busy to read. (One more reason to ride BART!)

I was looking for something fun, quick, and easy to read and Baby Proof, by Emily Giffin, fits the bill. I read it in two nights.

Claudia Parr has known that she does not want to be a mother since she was young. Now in her mid-30's, she has a terrific job as an editor in New York City and has resigned herself to a life of singledom. For most of the guys she's dated, her statement that she does not want children is the "deal breaker."

Then she meets Ben. Also single, articulate, and straight, Ben also does not want children. After several months of dating, they elope and enjoy two years of married, childfree bliss.

Until their best friends announce they are expecting.

Claudia figures that once the baby arrives, Ben will realize all the problems that come with one, but the baby is, of course, one of those "perfect" children: no colic, no tears, minimal mess. Ben wants a child more than ever and Claudia is upset and hurt that Ben broke their agreement.

They divorce.

Claudia looks for support for her decision from her friends and family, but receives little. In fact, more than one suggests that the real reason for Claudia's reluctance to become a mother has more to do with Claudia's mother than anything else. Meanwhile, the marriage of Claudia's older sister is falling apart (because that sister chose the flashy but unfaithful guy over the duller but madly-in-love with her guy) and her middle sister and brother-in-law are suffering the strains of infertility.

Baby Proof is an interesting look at how the legacy of our childhood follows us into adulthood, the bond between sisters who are very different, and female friendship. There's some discussion of why women chose the men the do and the consequences of those choices. And how very often, other people have a clearer insight to our behavior than we do.

Not bad for a "chic lit" book!

The ending is pretty realistic as well. Not all the ends are neatly tied up, but they're not quite left undone. The sad part is I'm probably closer to the age of Claudia's mother than I am to Claudia and the women of my generation don't come off so well!

However, it was a nice change from the science fiction that seems to be dominating my reading lately.

On the March Hare scale: 3.5 out of 5 Golden Bookmarks