The Choices We Make

Karma Brown. Mira, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1893-4
Brown’s second novel (after Come Away With Me) explores the potential complexities of friendship, motherhood, and gestational surrogacy through the lens of an unusual ethical quandary. Hannah has always wanted to be a mother, but after years of trying every procedure possible, she and her husband, Ben, have had no success. Hannah’s best friend, Kate, who’s spent years serving as a sounding board for Hannah’s woes while raising her own family, eventually offers to serve as a surrogate for Hannah and Ben. Despite initial reservations from Kate’s husband, David, everyone’s thrilled when she successfully becomes pregnant with a baby boy, and Hannah and Ben excitedly begin preparing for his arrival. Then tragedy strikes , and Ben and Hannah find themselves pitted against David as they balance fear and grief against a morass of ethical and medical controversies. Brown captures the pathos of infertility and Hannah’s impossible situation, but all four central characters are fairly unmemorable. The resolution may bring about a few sniffles, but stronger characterization and better dialogue would have wrung more from the promising premise. (July)
Reviewed on: 10/03/2016
Release date: 07/12/2016
Genre: Fiction
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