I was provided with an advance reader copy by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.
Published by Destiny Romance on June 16, 2014
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
Ambitious Australian Anna Harding seems to have it all: a glamorous job as a gossip columnist, and a beautiful home in London that she shares with her gorgeous boyfriend, Finn Cassidy. Her only problem is her regular run-ins with their neighbor Luke, who is furious about Anna's internet shopping constantly being delivered to his place by mistake.
When her flighty best friend Helena winds up pregnant, Anna agrees to be godmother – despite her aversion to children. But then Finn announces he's moving to Belfast for a great job in television and Helena takes off to Scotland – leaving baby Ivy behind. Suddenly Anna's perfect life is in pieces as she tries to juggle the baby, her job and a long-distance relationship.
Will Finn wake up to himself and return home or will he be swayed by the charms of his seductive producer? Will the irresponsible Helena finally sort herself out with the help of her eccentric great aunt? And will Anna's life ever be the same, especially after Luke's unexpected response to the chaos unleashed next door?
Nothing is certain in this entertaining and moving tale about the relationships that matter most.
It’s a difficult thing to balance the difficult and dark moments in a story, with the bright and cheerful parts – you could run the risk of making one side dominate the other, and lessening the impact of something important.
Laura Greaves has done a wonderful job of constructing a fun, enjoyable story in Be My Baby, giving the lives of her characters the joy and exuberance of youth, while not shying away from some pretty tough issues.
Here is what I thought of Be My Baby:
First things first, Be My Baby is told in alternating first-person – you see the story grow and move along through the eyes of each of three characters, Anna, Helena and Finn. Of course, there are going to be those who are thrown by this style of narrative – I can see that it would for some. I personally really enjoyed reading it as such, as you can understand more about what motivates and drives each of the characters.
I loved the growth in the character of Anna – she gets thrown into the deep end of the pool, with her boyfriend’s sudden move to Belfast (without her) and being left to care for her goddaughter, all in the space of a few days. I love that she isn’t perfect, she doesn’t get it right away and that she isn’t suddenly overtly clucky as a result of caring for Ivy. Sure, it changes her perspective on some things, but I am glad that Laura Greaves hasn’t resorted to the “I suddenly want babies now, where I didn’t before” moment.
I must confess that I wanted to get a bit punchy with Finn. I get that the move to Belfast was a smart thing career-wise, but dude! If my partner of five years had suddenly dropped that particular grenade on me, without any consultation, I am not sure I would have been quite so nice. I did enjoy reading the battle he was having with his conscience over certain things that were happening.
Helena’s journey is one that I am intimately familiar with – while the circumstances surrounding Ivy’s arrival are different to those I experienced, her struggle to navigate the emotional minefield of new motherhood rang really true for me. Laura Greaves has really nailed the portrayal of post-natal depression – the feelings of helplessness and lack of control. I know some may not agree with Helena’s method of finding herself and working out her new role in life, but having been where she is, I totally get why she did it.
The characters on the periphery are equally well-written: Luke – the grumpy neighbour who shows a different side of himself when least expected, and Jen – Anna’s ever-supportive friend and fellow expat, among them.
I think the thing I enjoyed the most about Be My Baby is that these seem like real people. Anna, Finn and Helena are flawed, imperfect, truthful portrayals of Gen Y’ers. The plot moves along at a great pace, there’s equal parts humour and emotion, and the writing is fantastic!
This is a cracking debut, and I am looking forward to the next offering from Laura Greaves – Be My Baby is a definite keeper.