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Lisa Scottoline walks readers into this charged moral dilemma and then takes them on an intense, breathless ride (Jodi Picoult)
Honest and hugely emotional (Michael Connelly)
Brilliant and infused with love... I couldn't put it down (Louise Penny)
The unputdownable new novel from the New York Times bestseller - devastating dilemma fiction told with captivating depth and paceSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
But author explores none of these issues. In fact she shows a profound lack of understanding of donor conception in general, skipping over relevant themes blindly and then occasionally inserting tedious paragraphs of facts which shout out RESEARCH, with no attempt to slide these gracefully into the weave of the text...
Or perhaps that's because there is no weave... This reads like a night class for novice writers first draft effort... Words are dropped onto the pages with 'he said she saids', and the characters' edges barely peel off the page, stuck there in their dull 2d stamp... Someone is blonde, someone has rippling muscles, someone has been copied out of a Hollywood little guy lawyer detective movie. And the plot devices.. Clunky excuses to explain away why one character wouldn't know the true identity of another (a professional that doesn't use email or internet anyone?). None of them make sense.
I resented every minute I wasted on this book. Only once in hundreds of pages did something catch my interest but it lasted a few sentences and the author didn't go with it and I was back to the grind.
I don't want to write such a negative review as I respect anyone who manages to complete a book, and if a friend had managed to produce this in her spare time as a first effort and for her own amusement I'd be impressed at her determination and suggest she work on it, as she might have the kernel of something interesting.
Christine and Marcus Nilsson are unable to begin the family they so desperately want due to Marcus’ infertility, so decide to use donor sperm. All is going well until, one day, Christine sees a news report on the TV showing the arrest of a suspected serial killer. The man closely resembles the photograph she has of her donor. Christine panics and the situation is further compounded by Marcus’ growing ‘all about me’ attitude. Cracks begin to appear in their relationship and Christine, despite Marcus’ objections, has to know the truth since Homestead, the sperm donor facility, will neither confirm or deny the identity of their donor.
Marcus wants to sue Homestead but Christine has other ideas and takes matters into her own hands. The lengths she goes to and the assumptions made is where the story, for me, becomes less than realistic.
There are genuine issues raised which are very thought provoking and I can see how a similar situation might occur. Not necessarily a serial killer, of course, but something possibly unwanted that only comes to light at a later date. It’s an interesting premise but, for me, the plot let the story down. I don’t know anything about sperm banks and can only assume Ms Scottoline’s research is accurate in that a donor is chosen by certain desired characteristics and a profile of the donor is given to the recipients, the amount of information dependent on whether the donor wishes to remain anonymous. The question of nature versus nurture is also brought into question – can a person be pre disposed to particular characteristics and behaviour or is the environment and the child’s personal experiences more the defining influence.
The insight into Christine and Marcus’ emotions and experiences came across as authentic initially, but the narrative became repetitive after a while and specific behaviour of the characters, particularly Christine as I mentioned, seems completely unrealistic. I appreciate infertility can be shattering to couples desperate for a family, the treatments traumatic and unpredictable and it’s difficult to know how one would react in the same situation. I’m not convinced, however, that Christine’s activities to uncover the truth are actually within the bounds of possibility.
The pace is quite slow and steady with an ending that was rather strange and completely random. The main characters aren’t particularly likeable, the best character for me was Griff, the blunt, gruff lawyer. I haven’t read this author before so can’t compare this with other books, but I might try another.
No complaints about the narration. Julia Whelan gives her usual top-notch performance.
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Most recent customer reviews
Overall, I sort of enjoyed this book. I thought the basic premise centered around the identity of the sperm donor of an infertile couple quite...Read more