Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Baby Proof Book Review

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

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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 seem 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.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things. It's about feeling that your life is set and then realizing that nothing is as you thought it was - and that there is no possible compromise. It's about deciding what is most important in life, and taking chances to get it. But most of all, it's about the things we will do - and won't do - for love.

Review by Brittany:

As a fan of Giffin, I knew when I picked this book up that it would be one that would interest me and that I would enjoy. Giffin has a way of writing that draws you in from the first page and keeps you hooked all the way through, and this book was no different.

I could totally relate to Claudia. As a woman who is unsure of whether or not I want children, I could relate to her on a level that I often can't in books, which helped make this book a winner for me. Claudia has dedicated herself to the idea that she will not have children, so the idea that her husband might want children throws her for a loop.

One thing that surprised me about this book is that the events happened extremely fast. The synopsis is what happens within the first few chapters, so there's a whole lot of story that comes after. Claudia and Ben cannot agree on what is best for them - a life with children or a life without - and they separate because of it. This sends Claudia on a path of trying to figure out how to live her life without Ben, the love of her life, which is really where the meat of the book happens.

I also thought it was interesting that Claudia's sisters are women with vastly different feelings about children than Claudia. They end up being extremely important characters to the development of Claudia's story and to the events with Claudia and Ben's relationship. While they were only supporting characters, Giffin wrote them in such a way that they played a large part.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. There were times when I wanted to shake the characters for being stupid or weep along with them during troubling times or laugh along, all of which are important elements in any book. Giffin is an author who knows how to write good characters and a good story, so I will continue to read what she writes.

Notable quotes:

After all, most people - women and men - view not wanting kids as a deal breaker. At the very least, I risked coming across as cold and selfish, two traits that don't top the list of "what every man wants".

Fleeting references to our history had been made up to that point, and I was well aware that we were both silently making those inevitable comparisons, putting our relationship in context. She is more this and less of that. He is better or worse in these ways. It is human nature to do this - unless it's your first relationship, which might be the very reason that your first relationship feels special and remains forever sacred.

The person who loved me like this was the person I loved back - which can feel like an absolute miracle. It is an absolute miracle.

I have often heard her say that the biggest decision a woman can make in life is not who to marry but who should be the father of her children. "You can't undo it," she says. "It bonds you for life."

Everyone has a messed-up family - to one extent or another - but we all have an obligation to rise above it.

I can't possibly fathom how another woman feels when I don't want to be a mother myself. After all, what kind of a woman doesn't want to be a mother?

I realize it's mighty difficult to act normal when someone else is behaving oddly.

It strikes me that she is the sort of person who, if you are unfortunate enough to fall for, you might never be able to stop loving.

I don't know whether I will ever overcome my fears of motherhood. Whether I will someday be a mother. Whether I am capable of being a good one.

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