Goodreads Synopsis: One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter's marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds.
3.73 average rating on Goodreads
Genre: Adult Fiction, Drama, Romance, Controversial
When I picked up this book I expected an in-depth, multi-viewpoint account of some controversial issue, with quick-witted characters and raw emotions. Jodi Picoult did NOT disappoint.
Max and Zoe Baxter have been married for nine years, and have dug themselves into quite a hole of debt and despair with infertility treatments - the result of which has been two miscarriages and a stillborn. When Zoe says she wants to try again, Max decides he's had enough, and they divorce. Max moves in with his straight-arrow brother and his wife, and finds his way out of the bottle and into the arms of Jesus. Zoe finds her way into the arms of Vanessa, a counsellor at the school where Zoe sometimes works as a music therapist. Though Max and Zoe have gone very separate ways, they must deal with each other once more, in court, to determine what will happen to their remaining embryos, waiting in a freezer at the in-vitro clinic.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, which talked in-depth about Zoe and Max's fertility treatments. I hope to one day become a fertility doctor, so I like reading anything involving that branch of medicine.
As usual with Picoult's books, I fell in love with the characters immediately, especially Zoe. You can feel how deeply she wants a baby, and become so connected with her that you feel each injection, each miscarriage, each implantation, along with her. From page one, I was rooting for her to get what she wanted. Vanessa seems to be a super open-minded individual, and she seemed willing to do anything to make Zoe happy. Although Max was a slimeball at times, I generally liked his character as well and kept hoping for things to work out for him.
Is it just me or do all of the books by this author end up with someone in a courtroom? This doesn't actually bother me, but Angela, Zoe's lawyer in this novel, and her attempts at hilarity grew old fast in my opinion, and she got on my nerves quite a bit.
This book's plot is pretty fast-paced; there's always some new issue arising, and thus the plot was never boring. I was really pleased with the ending, although it was a bit abrupt and I wouldn't have minded it being extended, or even a sequel book. I'd like to know what happens to Max's brother, Reid, and if later on in life all of the characters are happy with the decisions they've made.
Overall I give this book 4/5 stars. I really enjoyed it and it will probably be put on my "for keeps" shelf, but I would've liked a longer ending.
If anyone else has read this I would love to know what you thought of it!