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Easy but unmemorable
on 4 November 2002
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.