Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Then Came You

Then Came You
by Jennifer Weiner
Atria Books Hardcover
336 pages
ISBN 9781451617726
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Available for Purchase
Amazon          Barnes and Noble

Why did you choose this book? I saw this book in the  'new release' section at Barnes and Noble and was attracted to the cover, so I put it on reserve at the library.
When did you read this book? August 2011
Who else should read this book? fans of Jennifer Weiner, readers of 'chick-lit', book clubs looking for a good discussion, anyone looking for a good read.
Here is a synopsis of 'When Came You' from Goodreads, where it rates 3.54 stars.

The lives of four very different women intertwine in unexpected ways in this new novel by bestselling author Jennifer Weiner (Then Came You; Best Friends Forever). Each woman has a problem: Princeton senior Jules Wildgren needs money to help her dad cure his addiction; Pennsylvania housewife Annie Barrow is gasping to stay financially afloat; India Bishop yearns to have a child, an urge that her stepdaughter Bettina can only regard with deeply skepticism until she finds herself in a most unexpected situation. Interlocking dramas designed to ensnare; bound to be a bestseller.

My Review

This story centers around a baby and four women. India is married to a very wealthy business mogul in NYC. She is his 'trophy wife'. Marcus is in his late 50's, a self-made man. India is in her early 40's, though she only admits to late 30's. Bettina is her stepdaughter, who regards India as a gold-digger and still has visions of her mother and father getting back together and restoring her happy family. (Her mother left Marcus to join an ashram in Arizona.) India decides she wants to have a baby with Marcus, and after several rounds of artificial insemination which end in miscarriages, they decide to us an egg donor and surrogate. Jules, the egg donor, is a smart, beautiful, recent Princeton graduate who needs the money for her dad's rehab. Annie, the surrogate, is the mother of two young boys who lives with her husband in a money pit of a farm house outside of Philadelphia. She is hoping to improve the life of her family with the money she will receive as a surrogate.

One thing I really liked about this book is that each chapter centered on a different woman. The women are all complex and this was an excellent way to develop their characters while moving the story along. At the beginning some of the women were not very likable, particularly Bettina, who seemed to be a spoiled brat, and India, who seemed to be the gold-digger Bettina pegged her as. As the story developed, I came to like them both. 

One thing I did not like was that the story seemed to end a little abruptly. There was an epilogue that did tie things up nicely, and it read almost like a fairy tale, with allusions to 'Sleeping Beauty'. But I would still have liked to see a little more about the development of the relationship between the women at the end of story instead of just 'they all lived happily ever after'.

This was a quick, easy read; light and entertaining! There is a lot of material here that would lead to some good discussions for a book club. I liked this book...a lot! But I didn't love it. 

My Rating: ★★★+  3-1/2 Stars

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