Thursday, June 21, 2007

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

Claudia Parr is a woman in her early thirties who decided long ago that she didn't want to have children. Fortunately, she has found a "soul mate" in Ben, a wonderful man who also says he doesn't want children. Unfortunately, after a couple of years of marriage he changes his mind and starts badgering her ceaselessly about wanting a baby, even going so far as to make hints about their future parenthood in front of in-laws. Claudia quite rightly gives Ben the boot, and then she spends the rest of the book moaning and groaning over her divorce, her lost love and the fact that she doesn't want babies. Honestly, for someone who seems to be fairly confident in her decision she sure doesn't appear to be at peace with it - she goes on and on and on about this issue of not wanting kids, even to the point where she gets mad that people who are interested in becoming mothers (ie, every other female she knows) have the gall to *talk about babies* at her birthday dinner. Honestly, the nerve of some people!

As you can tell, this book didn't quite work for me. Partly it was that I didn't really connect with Claudia (maybe you can tell that already?!). Partly it was Giffin's writing style - it relies a bit too heavily on first-person description and narrative, and the dialogue is sparse and somewhat stilted. Another thing that grated on my nerves was the way people in this book are unable to communicate effectively. A lot of the plot was "driven" by misunderstandings and lack of open dialogue between people who really should be able to talk to one another - ie, spouses, friends and sisters who have loving and open relationships. And oh! The endless, tiresome descriptions of shoes, clothing, furniture and other such Name Brand items. Constant clothing changes and brand-name-dropping do not a good novel make -- and not all readers of the chicklit genre want to read such things!

I think I'll be giving Emily Giffin's other novels a miss.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Funny how two people can see the same thing but perceive it differently...I agree about the poor communication, but to me, this makes the relationships seem realistic.