Weekend Reads: Babyville

by mollyharper on February 1, 2013

 

I will admit that Babyville is not a new find for me.  I first read it several years ago while I was pregnant with my daughter, Darcy.  The story revolves around three women in different stages of “baby readiness.” Samantha has just had a baby and feels isolated and overwhelmed.  Julia desperately wants a baby with her boyfriend, but her focus on conception is driving him away.  And Maeve isn’t even thinking about babies as a possibility, but becomes pregnant by a man with whom she’s not in a relationship.  All three women traverse the baby-landscape with varying degrees of growth.

What I love about Jane Green is that she doesn’t pull any emotional punches.  She’s not afraid of making her characters seem neurotic or even unlikeable.  And that gives the reader a much more authentic, intimate insight into the character’s mind.  So when I was pregnant and recently coming off the “trying to conceive” cycle – I totally understood Julia’s frustrations and how suddenly, now that she wanted a baby, every woman she saw seemed to be pregnant.  I read it, thinking, “Oh my gosh, I was NORMAL!”

And a few weeks ago, I re-read Sam’s post-partum loneliness and frustrations with her well-meaning husband, I thought, “Oh my gosh, I was NORMAL!”  (With the exception of Sam’s near-erotomanic crush on a friend’s husband. I didn’t do that.)

Even though the story will occasionally make you uncomfortably introspective, I highly recommend Babyville. The characters aren’t picture perfect, but they’re incredibly real and enjoyable

And then immediately follow it up with Green’s “The Other Woman,” which explores a woman’s claustrophobic relationship with her invasive, passive-aggressive mother-in-law. It gets a little ugly, but it’s a very compelling story.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Brisbin February 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I’ve never read Jane Green….and confess that, at my stage in life, reading about babies is not something I enjoy… I mean I’ve just gotten the last of mine out of the nest…enough about kids already! LOL!

But, I have a friend who I’ll suggest it to…Thanks for the recommendation!

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Jennifer St. Giles Jennifer St. Giles February 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Haven’t ever read Jane Green, but may have to. thank you for sharing, Helps me to remember why readers connect with us. Its not because we are writing some fictional character that doesn’t exist in some imaginary world, but we are writing about character within whom they see themselves or someone they know and are able to gain a better perspective about things or as you conveyed, realize that they are not alone in how they feel or what they are facing. Problems can be conquered and Love can win!

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Julia London Julia London February 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

I love Jane Green books too

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Jacquie D'Alessandro Jacquie D'Alessandro February 1, 2013 at 10:36 am

Haven’t read Babyville, but it looks interesting. Thanks for the rec, Molly!

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Sherri Browning Erwin Sherri Browning Erwin February 1, 2013 at 9:01 am

Haven’t read Babyville, but it’s on my list now. I love Jane Green’s books, but haven’t picked one up in a while. I am looking forward to this!

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