Publication date: March 29th 2016
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most.
Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She’s already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn’t prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire-and even destroy their marriage.
Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make…
Thought-provoking, heart-rending but ultimately uplifting, Julie Cohen’s Dear Thing is a book you won’t be able to put down, until you pass it on to your best friends.
Knowing the subject matter being discussed in this book makes this a hard book to read and review, only because it is so heart-wrenchingly good, it took me a while to process everything and put it into words. Even then, I think words would fail to describe how good this book is and why you should definitely read it.
Dear Thing centers around Romily, Ben and Claire. Romily and Ben have been friends since their university days and they stay as close as ever. Ben and Claire are married and have been trying to have kids for years until the latest miscarriage made her give up. So enter Romily, who volunteered to be a surrogate for the couple. Having had a child already (7 year old, Posie), Romily was in no hurry to have another child, so she thought it was easy to give the child away to someone else. But well, nothing is ever that easy right?
What I love the most about the book is how Julie Cohen approached the subject of surrogacy. The way she wrote it makes me feel a lot of things and makes me understand the subject better. It helps that the characters are beautifully-written as well and that makes them real, relatable and you could definitely feel the emotion of the characters throughout the stories. Told in both the perspectives of Claire and Romily, you would find it hard to decide who to root for because each women have their own reasons for acting the way they did.
I also love how the author discusses the myriad of relationship going on in the story without the main story ever taking the backseat. Although there were a lot of other relationship worth discussing more, like Romily’s unconventional parental relationship with Posie and also Posie’s relationship with Ben and Claire, her godparents, one in particular really struck a chord with the teacher in me, which is the relationship between Claire and a student in her school called Max. It’s just mentioned in a few instances in the book but I think their relationship is such a profound one that makes Claire realize a few things that helps the plot move along.
Needless to say, I cried a few tears while reading this book, especially when reading Romily’s letters to ‘Thing’. I feel for the characters and they make me want to hug them as they make the hardest decision of their lives. I love how Julie Cohen concluded the story though and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves women’s fiction with a huge serving of heart-felt emotion.
Disclaimer: I received the ARC from the publisher, St Martin’s Press via Netgalley in exchange of honest reviews. All opinions are mine.