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Babyville [Hardcover]

Jane Green
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Sep 2001
A wonderful new novel from the bestselling author of Bookends. Julia and Mark are stuck in a loveless relationship, wondering why they ever got together. Julia thinks a baby will help, but perhaps that isn't the answer to her problems...Maeve is allergic to commitment. Happy with her career, she breaks out in a rash when she passes a buggy. A one-night-stand results in an unwanted pregnancy. But just how unwanted is it? Samantha is besotted with her new-born baby. But how is husband Chris coping with his newly unavailable wife, and is Samantha's obsession as healthy as it seems? Babyville isn't just about babies, it's about people. About their relationships and the effect that children can have on their lives.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd; First Edition edition (6 Sep 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718144635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718144630
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.6 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,623,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jane Green Warburg is a former journalist who gave up her job on the Daily Express to write a real woman's account of being single in the city. That account became Jane's first novel, Straight Talking. It was followed by nine more bestselling novels: Jemima J, Mr Maybe, Bookends, Babyville, Spellbound, The Other Woman, Life Swap, Second Chance and The Beach House. Jane has four children and lives in Connecticut.

Product Description

Amazon Review

To have a baby or not to have a baby, that is the question that's facing Jane Green's heroines in her fifth novel, Babyville. Julia, Maeve and Sam are pondering the pros and cons of procreation; the effect that it could have on their careers, partners and lives.

The novel opens with Julia, a successful TV producer, with her legs straight up in the air, encouraging her boyfriend Mark's sperm to reach their destination. Julia thinks she wants a baby to fill the huge gap that has suddenly appeared in her life. But Mark thinks:

We don't make love anymore. We make babies. And we're failing.
Maeve, who also works in TV, is adamant that she doesn't want a baby or a relationship; she's happy as a single, ambitious, career girl: "The togetherness. The cosiness. That coupledom that is pure anathema to me." But she finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand and finds that her preconceptions turn out to be misconceptions. And finally there is Sam; voluptuously, glowingly pregnant at the beginning of the book, but near the end screaming at her beloved partner Chris: "You haven't been stuck in all day with a screaming baby. You have absolutely no idea what it's like for me." Chris feels "neglected. Abandoned . Unwanted."

Babyville is played out in the present tense, with a staccato style delivery, with beats of humour between the emotional labour. The emotions may be powerful and universal, but the prose style may need a longer fermentation period. --Eithne Farry

Review

'An engaging novel with acutely observed characters and situations.' -- Books Magazine

'Entertainingly and sympathetically told by an author who treats the tricky topics ... with heart-warming honesty and humour.' -- Sunday Express

'It's ... spot on. Once you pick up Babyville, it's unlikely you'll be able to put it down.' -- Mirror Magazine

'This eventful and emotional comedy will have you hooked.' -- OK Magazine

'This is a warm, lively, wise and distinctly unputdownable novel.' -- Hello! Magazine

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Julia hoists herself around on the bed until her head's at the bottom, then sticks her legs straight up in the air and leans them gently on the headboard. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in ages 31 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I've read all of Jane Green's books and enjoyed them all so when I saw this new one I bought it fast. I wasn't disappointed. It is by far the best she has written and I was sorry to finish it. It was very realistic and reflected different women's feelings and thoughts about having a family extremely well: women who have had children will relate to it, as will those that prefer a career. I could relate to all of the characters in some way and it was just amazing how true to life they all were. I think it showed that life isn't always a bowl of cherries and there are ups and downs in any relationship, sometimes they that can be worked through and sometimes they can't. I don't want to give anything away so I just suggest you go out and read it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read from Jane Green 22 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I am a big Jane Green fan and rushed out to buy it. I'm in my mid-20s and have no interest in babies or marriage but still enjoyed it. I liked Maeve's character the best, perhaps because Jane Green is best at writing in the first person. But then I hit Sam's story at the end and felt equally moved - by the end of the book I felt Jane Green had covered a satisfying array of themes and ideas on babies.
I didn't think this was as brilliant as Bookends. Bookends was a very special book that made me laugh and cry. I didn't feel this was written with quite the same love and enthusiasm as Bookends; Babyville seemed to have been written in a bit of a rush. But I don't want to put anyone off buying it as it's still a great read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Easy but unmemorable 4 Nov 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I agree with some of the other reviewers that the reader does not have to put in much effort to finish this book. Unfortunately I also got the sense that not a lot of effort had been put in by the author. Most of the story is clichéd, the dialogue is often embarrassingly wooden and I was irritated by the one-sided view presented of pregnancy and early motherhood – not all of women become forgetful hormonal demons! It was sloppily edited too. Two of the characters (Jill and Sam) are supposed to have swapped advice on their pregnancies, but given the age difference between their children, this does not seem likely. Key details are left out of the trite ‘happily ever after’ ending, like whether Chris ever finds out what happened between his wife and his best client’s husband.
This is disappointing, because certain parts of the book are engaging and Green is a good story teller, even if she does rely heavily on things magically falling into place – real life rarely intrudes on her characters. (For example two characters move to London and New York, cities notorious for having expensive and hard to find rentals, yet both immediately find perfect accommodation). However, I was gripped by the story of Sam and her post natal misery, which is finally exploded in an authentically horrible scene where she is publicly humiliated by her almost-lover and his wife – via the baby monitor! The other characters were a little two-dimensional, but I enjoyed reading their stories anyway.
Babyville is not a taxing read. If Green had put a bit more thought into it, it might have also been a memorable one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Babyville read it and weep 12 Dec 2004
Format:Paperback
This book along with ALL other Green books have been a source of endless entertainment and thought provoking. This book takes you to different people's circumstances with a view of their relationships, their wanting and dealing with children. The book is true to life and you are drawn into it from the offset. What a read, another fine performance by Ms Green.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's so good! 6 Jan 2004
Format:Paperback
I absolutely LOVED Mr Maybe and was equally besotted with this one...At first, I thought it was goin to be one of those sentimental, romanticised views of babies, but it was anything but! It was so refreshing for someone to write about the truly hard job of having a baby. I still want one in the future but this has made me think twice about the responsibility of it all. I simply couldn't put it down. Just read it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable, well done 4 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I was a bit dubious when I began reading this book as I don't have any children and thought Jane Green and babies? But after reading this book twice, I would highly recommend it to anybody. It's based on three women, Julia Maeve and Sam whose lives are all affected in some way by baby making and each other. I found it hard to warm to Julia, as she seemed to be a misery and definately stuck in a rut trying to have a baby and being unhappy with her partner Mark. She leaves the story early and we move on to Maeve.
Maeve, I could easily identify with and have as a friend, as she comes accross as independent, sassy and fun! She finds herself in the predicament that she falls pregnant totally unexpectantly and have to learn to cope with whatever decision she makes re the future.
The third subject is Sam, whose character I loved. Sam's story starts after she has her baby the wonderful George, who is the apple of his mother's eye, and she is fusses over constantly and makes tonnes of baby food and freezes it in ice cube trays.....(madness!) She finds mothermood so difficult, coping with other mothers, and stays in her pajamas all day. Her husband doesn't understand where his outgoing fun loving wife has gone, and their frustration with each other starts to take it's toll until.... I won'tgo any further but I'd highly recommend this read. I enjoyed how Jane Green gently brushes their three lifes against each other.
If this hasn't convinvce you, here's one last attempt to convert all those who actually have had babies. I watched my best friend reading this who has a two year old, with tears of laugher rolling down her face, and hearing her say, I went through that, or I know how she feels, so it is realistic and to the point.
Well done Jane! Five stars
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Spell check please!!
The kindle version of this book is appalling. Can we get a proof reader up in here please?

The book is what it is, if you like sickly saccharine chick-lit with too many... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bookface
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Jane Green's successes
I loved pretty much all our books. She keeps it real and takes readers through the book by the hand.
Published 9 months ago by Ms. Sa Ben-arros
3.0 out of 5 stars Babyville
I gave this book 3 stars because initially I found it slow to get into and did not like the woman in the first part of the book. I found her one dimensional and uninteresting. Read more
Published 14 months ago by CC
1.0 out of 5 stars Irritating characters.
I appreciate this is fiction, but this takes it slightly to the realms of being ridiculous. The 3 main characters lack any depth and you are unable to warm to them, reading this... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Alison Daniels-Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Very funny and very true, as a woman in her 30 s in a similar position I found it funny, witty and so so true - hats of to Jane Green. Another brilliant book.
Published 17 months ago by Padders
5.0 out of 5 stars Omg
An amazing book by a amazing author!! Great story line,couldn't but it down.A good read buy it now!! X x
Published 19 months ago by Hannah Cawthorne
3.0 out of 5 stars OK ish but not great
I quite enjoyed this book until the last character, Sam falling in love with the pretty obnoxious character that was Dan after one meeting, fantasising that he would leave his wife... Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2012 by bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Turning the Pages Review
You can also read my review here: [...]

Everyone loves a good chick-lit book and Babyville by Jane Green does not disappoint. Read more
Published on 25 Jan 2012 by Turning the Pages
2.0 out of 5 stars It was ok...
Normally, I am the sort of person who can read a book in about a week, but not with this one. I read it for about a month (constantly putting it down and picking it up). Read more
Published on 27 Jun 2009 by C. Rucroft
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh, please
I'll preface this by saying this is not the sort of book I normally read, but it was given to me while on vacation. Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2009 by Jen
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