20 February 2013

Tuesday's Review: The Baby Trap by Sibel Hodge

Yes, I know it is Wednesday, but this review was supposed to go out yesterday.  Sometimes life just gets in the way.

The Baby Trap is my first book by Sibel Hodge. How can a book about the trials and tribulations of infertility be funny or enjoyable? It seems impossible given the subject matter, but Sibel succeeds in making it both, as well as poignant, eye-opening, and informative. I must say, I was impressed. I was expecting something like a Sophie Kinsella book, and while there are similarities, this book had a bit more depth to me. 

The opening line of the book, "Why is it that you spend most of your young adult life trying not to get pregnant, and yet when you actually want to get pregnant, you can’t?" caught me right off the bat. As a woman who waited to try to get pregnant, I certainly identified with this line. Gina is a woman not unlike myself. Enjoys hanging out with her friends, is in no hurry to start a family...until one morning she wakes up and all that changes. As I journeyed with Gina and her husband on their trip through living by the calendar, fertility drugs, and, finally, IVF, I found myself alternately crying, cheering, shaking my head, and yes, laughing. 

The best part about this book is the way the author showcases the feelings of the characters in the book. Although I have never been in Gina's place, or even involved in the process with a friend, Gina's ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and frustrations were exactly what I would have envisioned. The author has done a great job of showing me the pain and self doubt that would be inherent in a woman going through such an upheaval in her life. 

This book was not just a one-sided story of how Gina felt, though. The author also did a superb job of telling Karl's story. His love for Gina shines through, but we also get to see his alternating feeling so elation and disillusionment, and the resulting frustration that he is feeling. Then there are Gina's friends, who are trying to be supportive in their own way, but really, how can you know what it is like if you have never been there. Such a great showcase of the feelings on all side of the issue. 

Another thing that interested me with this book was the vocabulary. This is not the first British based book that I have read, but I swear, I learned more new words reading this book than in any other book I have read. At first it was a little strange and took some getting used to, but eventually I got the rhythm. 

This books gets 4 stars from me for the real feelings showcased in the book and the wonderful way that the author handled a difficult subject with sensitivity and a bit of humor. And although the ending was by no means a surprise, it was somehow appropriate for this book.