Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Babyville Book Review

Babyville by Jane Green


Bestselling author Jane Green has won the hearts of thousands of readers with her fresh take on single life and the dating jungle. Now in Babyville, she applies her golden touch to the next phase of a girl's life, in an irresistible new novel about two young women coping with the chimes of their biological clocks, and one independent glamour-girl who tries to tune hers out.

Meet Julia, a wildly successful television producer who appears to have the picture-perfect life. But beneath the surface, things are not as perfect as they seem. Stuck in a loveless relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, Julia thinks a baby is the answer...but she may want a baby more than she wants her boyfriend. Will a trip to New York City with a jet-setting friend - and all the glittering energy and eligible men the city brings - help her discover what she really needs?

Maeve, on the other hand, is allergic to commitment. A feisty, red-haired, high-power career girl, she cherishes her ability to do just as she pleases and breaks out in a rash every time she passes a stroller. But when her no-strings-attached nightlife leads to an unexpected pregnancy, her reaction may be just as unexpected.

And then there's Samantha - happily married and eager to be the perfect June Cleaveresque mother. But baby George brings only exhaustion, extra pounds, and marital strife to her once tidy life. Is having an affair with a friend's incredibly sexy husband the answer?

By turns witty, rollicking, and tender, Babyville isn't really a story about babies - it's about three friends whose lives are suddenly turned upside-down by that life-changing event that hangs over the head of every girl: motherhood.

Review by Brittany:

Jane Green is an author who writes novels that women can easily relate to. This book focuses on three different women and the struggles they have when it comes to motherhood. Each woman in the book feels differently about motherhood; however, each character is relatable, which I think is a testament to the skill level involved in her character development.

The book is separated into three parts, each part focusing on one of the main characters, with cameos by the other characters. It starts with Julia, describing her relationship with Mark and the struggles they are having with conceiving. The second part is about Maeve, a career woman who has a one night stand and accidentally gets pregnant. The third part is about Sam, a married woman who wanted nothing more than to be a mother but is finding it more difficult than she had anticipated.

The layout of the book was interesting and different than other books that I have read by this author. Having the parts separate meant that the focus of the book shifted, including the written point of view. The author made it work by giving updates for each character in each part, so that the reader always knows what is going on with each of the characters. By the end of the book, the reader is up to date with each character's life, which makes the story feel complete.

One thing I loved about this book was the character of Maeve's mother. She plays a huge role in the part of the book that focuses on Maeve's story, and she is truly such a powerful force in Maeve's life. While Maeve doesn't easily admit it, her mother's approval and opinions matter greatly and play a role in the direction Maeve chooses to take in her life. I love characters like that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read, and while some parts of the story were emotionally difficult, the author wrote it in such a way that I didn't feel completely obliterated by any of it. I was invested, and each character's life worked out in the way that it was supposed to. I really enjoyed this book.

Notable quotes:

Not that she's unhappy, exactly. But she's not happy either. She just is. For the last couple of years Julia has felt as if she's lived her life floating on a cloud of apathy, and she's really not certain what the problem is.

Sam is only saying all the things Julia thinks when she wakes up in the middle of the night with a pounding heart, almost suffocating with the panic, the need to escape, only bearable because she knows normality will return with daylight.

She didn't mean to say it. Christ, she didn't even mean to think it...

You won't have anything in common anymore, since you are not interested in babies, and they are no longer interested in life.

"I suppose, though, wherever you go, your life is still your life and you're still you."

"I had relationships with wonderful men, but I expected too much from them, and always moved on thinking I'd find the perfect man out there."

...I stand up and walk to the window, where I watch the cars for a while, wondering how everyone else's life can carry on as if nothing terrible has happened, when mine has just been turned upside down.

She also knew she would never do such a thing, but she knew how you could be on the edge, and how little it would take to push you over.

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