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Dear Thing af Julie Cohen
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Dear Thing (udgave 2016)

af Julie Cohen (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler
706293,706 (3.25)Ingen
Claire and Ben are the perfect couple. But behind the glossy fa ade, they've been desperately trying u and failing u to have a baby for years. Now, the stress and feelings of loss are taking their toll on their marriage. Claire's ready to give up hope and get on with her life, but Ben is not. And then Ben's best friend, Romily, offers to conceive via artificial insemination and carry the baby for them. Romily acts in good faith, believing it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and has no desire for any more children. Except that being pregnant with Ben's child stirs up all sorts of emotions in her, including one she's kept hidden for a very long time: Ben's the only man she's ever loved. Two mothers and one baby who belongs to both of them, and which only one of them can keep.… (mere)
Medlem:mandolin77
Titel:Dear Thing
Forfattere:Julie Cohen (Forfatter)
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2016), 432 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Dear Thing af Julie Cohen

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4.5 stars.

Dear Thing by Julie Cohen is an emotional, poignant and thought-provoking novel about infertility and surrogacy.

Ben and Claire Lawrence are the perfect couple. Happily married and successful, they have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and after their latest IVF ends in a miscarriage, Claire is ready to give up. Upset over Claire's decision, a drunken Ben confides in his best gal pal and single mom Romily Summer. Romily impetuously suggests that she be their surrogate and Ben does not have to think twice before eagerly accepting her generous offer. Needless to say, he is stunned by Claire's hesitation to move forward with the plan. After careful consideration, Claire's desire for a baby outweighs her many reservations about the arrangement and Romily is soon pregnant with their baby.

While the plan seems simple enough, things quickly become complicated as the months pass. Claire is hesitant to believe their good fortune and although grateful for Romily's willingness to be their surrogate, she cannot help but feel like a failure. Despite her assertions that she will not become attached to her unborn child, Romily's longtime love for Ben changes her feelings about the baby she is carrying. Ben becomes confused about his emotions when he begins viewing Romily as the mother of his child instead of his best friend.

Claire is a little uptight and reserved so she sometimes appears emotionless and distant. She and Romily have never been particularly close and things are often awkward between them without Ben acting as a buffer. Angry and a bit resentful that Romily can have a baby while she cannot, Claire refuses to become involved with the pregnancy for the first few months. A teacher at a local school, she becomes over involved with a trouble student and even though her heart is in the right place, Claire loses her objectivity and jeopardizes her career.

Unlike über structured Claire, Romily is disorganized and a wee bit forgetful. A scientist, she is analytical and logical so she is taken off guard by the emotional impact of her pregnancy. Friends with Ben since college, Romily has been in love with him almost since their first meeting. Before she could work up the nerve to confess her feelings, Ben fell in love with Claire and Romily was content to stay his friend although her love for him never waned. After a casual fling years earlier, she gave birth to daughter Posie who is now a precocious but charming seven year old. No one is more surprised than Romily when old flame Jarvis re-enters her life and once he discovers he is a father, he wants to get to know his daughter.

Although Ben is the catalyst that sets the surrogacy into motion, he remains on the periphery of the story. He encourages Claire to spend time with Romily and he blithely goes on with his life without realizing the emotional firestorm he has inadvertently created. As Ben spends more time with Romily, Claire feels more and more left out. With Ben unable to understand Claire's concerns, the two begin to drift apart and it is only a matter of time before their marriage reaches a crisis point.

Dear Thing thunders to an uncertain conclusion as tensions mount and emotions run high between Claire, Romily and Ben. With unexpected twists and turns, Julie Cohen skillfully keeps readers on the edge of their seats wondering how this delicate situation is going to be resolved right until the story's heartwarming ending. This fast paced and riveting story is a sensitive and compassionate depiction of surrogacy and infertility and I highly recommend it to fans of contemporary women's fiction. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
This is a lovely book about friendship, unrequited love, and what people are willing to do for each other in tough situation.

Romily is a single mom who is slightly aloof and very much married to her career. She's awkward and a little antisocial. Her closest friends are Ben and his wife Claire, who she has known since their days together in college. Ben and Claire would love to have a child but despite repeated attempts, have not been successful. Romily can't bear to see Ben suffer, and volunteers to be a surrogate. This puts all Ben, Claire, and Romily on a path that no one could predict. I loved the honesty in this book and the complexity of the characters. I was afraid this was going to become a predictable read but it exceeded my expectations. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy books about friendship, families, and relationships. *I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  mandolin77 | Jun 12, 2016 |
Dear Thing by Julie Cohen is a very predictable novel. Claire and Ben have been trying to have a child, but they have been unsuccessful (Claire’s fault). Romily met Ben in college, and they are the best of friends (for the last eleven years). What Ben does not know is that Romily is in love with him (by the time she worked up the nerve to ask him out, he was dating Claire). Romily has appreciated Ben and Claire’s help over the years. Romily got pregnant and they have helped her raise her daughter, Posie (short for Mariposa). Ben and Romily are enjoying their pub night (quiz night at the pub) when Ben tells Romily that they are giving up on trying to have a child of their own. So Romily suggests that she be the surrogate (you just know this is not going to end well). Ben is excited. The next day Romily is sorry she suggested it and hopes that Ben was too drunk to remember. Ben remembers. Claire reluctantly agrees to the scheme. Things proceed quickly thanks to Ben. Romily easily becomes pregnant, and Ben is very excited. Claire handles things by buying books, vitamins, and arranging for organic food to be delivered to Romily. But what happens when Claire finds out that Romily is in love with Ben? Then Posie’s birth father returns to London (he did not know that Romily went through with the pregnancy). Will Romily be able to give up the baby after its born? You will have to read Dear Thing to find out what happens.

Dear Thing was okay. Dear Thing plods on to its expected conclusion. I kept hoping for an alternative ending. I could have told you how the book would play out after I got through the first chapter or so (I kept hoping I would be wrong. Too much of the book was devoted to Romily’s thinking and Claire’s worries (which were numerous). I ended up skimming through these sections. My favorite character was Posie. She was a precocious young lady. I give Dear Thing (which is what Romily called the baby in her diary) 3 out of 5 stars. If you are looking for a light read (for an escape), then you should check out Dear Thing.

I received a complimentary copy of Dear Thing from NetGalley in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jun 5, 2016 |
Claire and Ben have a seemingly ideal life - good jobs, a beautiful house, and what seems to be a strong relationship. But they've been trying to have a baby for years, and it's starting to take a toll on them and their marriage. After yet another failed round of IVF, Claire is done. She cannot put her body (and her heart) through this pain yet again. Ben is upset and not ready to give up. So when his best friend, Romily, drunkenly offers to act as a surrogate for the couple, Ben jumps on it! Why not? Romily -- already a single mom to Posie -- seems like the perfect choice, after all. And Romily does want to give Ben and Claire the baby they so desire. But if she really admits it, she really wants to give *Ben* this baby: Ben, whom Romily has secretly loved since university. Will Romily really be able to give up this baby? And, can she give up Ben?

This was a lovely and fascinating book, which I devoured in the span of about 24 hours. It's an extremely quick read with well-drawn characters who immediately pull you into the story. Having struggled with infertility myself, I certainly identified with Claire, but also found pieces of Romily and Ben to love as well. One of the strengths of Cohen's book is that there is no one true "winner" here - you don't go in and immediately find yourself rooting for one of the women and their "side," which I think benefits the entire book and its storyline.

Some of the plot is almost a little too unbelievable (and sometimes I'd like to swat clueless Ben in the head), but most of it is made up for by the realism of the characters and their emotions. Claire, especially, in her fertility struggle, is true to form, as is Romily, as she struggles with her feelings for Ben. Romily's young daughter Posie is a wonderful character - you will immediately fall for spirited, sweet Posie.

To me, the only weakness of this book was the ending, which seemed a little to pat and simplified for all the complicated emotions the characters had been struggling with throughout. That's the only thing preventing a 4-star rating. Still, a solid 3.5 read and, really, a lovely and worthwhile book. It gets you out of your head for a bit.

I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley (thank you!); it is available for U.S. publication on 3/29. You can check out a review of this novel and many others on my blog. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 9, 2016 |
Not my usual type of reading, but interesting take on surrogate parenting, and the sadness of infertility. Thought it ended a little too pat, but there really wasn't any other way for the author to go. ( )
  herschelian | Jun 17, 2014 |
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Claire and Ben are the perfect couple. But behind the glossy fa ade, they've been desperately trying u and failing u to have a baby for years. Now, the stress and feelings of loss are taking their toll on their marriage. Claire's ready to give up hope and get on with her life, but Ben is not. And then Ben's best friend, Romily, offers to conceive via artificial insemination and carry the baby for them. Romily acts in good faith, believing it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and has no desire for any more children. Except that being pregnant with Ben's child stirs up all sorts of emotions in her, including one she's kept hidden for a very long time: Ben's the only man she's ever loved. Two mothers and one baby who belongs to both of them, and which only one of them can keep.

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