Book Review: Dear Thing by Julie Cohen

Dear ThingWhat’s it about?

Dear Thing,

Once upon a time, when we still believed in wishes, there lived a prince and a princess. The prince was handsome and clever, and the princess was beautiful and good, and they were deeply in love.

That’s something you might ask about one day, when you’re older. What is love? Some people think it’s magic. Some people think it’s biology. In this case, the prince and his princess seemed meant for each other.

I wish you’d been there to see it. In a way, you were there; the princess and the prince had certainly thought of you. They already wanted you. A perfect child, who would make their love complete.

But the years went by, and they went by, and you never appeared.

It’s not much of a fairy tale, is it?

My thoughts

This was our book club read for September and was actually my pick. It’s one that had been on my pile for a while and I thought that it would provoke an interesting and lively discussion which it did.

In a nutshell Romily offers to be a surrogate for her best friend Ben and his wife Claire but of course it’s not straightforward or plain sailing. It’s an interesting light easy read but for me I had a problem with the believability of the whole situation, how it all came about so quickly and that they would all go into it quite so naively.

I found it quite hard to connect with either Romily or Ben; in their own ways they were both selfish and foolish. Claire gained the majority of my empathy, apart from when she legs it after the birth, I can’t believe that she wouldn’t want to have bonded immediately with the baby, this I just didn’t understand.

Also, I found the letters to Thing in small font italics hard to read and I didn’t like that the unborn child was referred to as ‘thing’, it felt quite impersonal.

The ending could have gone one of two ways and I think the author chose the predictable route. For me, the ending left a few unanswered questions, future relationships between all of them, we’re left to believe it’s a happy ending but that in itself was always going to be hopeful. It didn’t really delve deep enough into the impact the surrogacy would have on all those involved. The whole subject matter was an interesting topic but overall I felt it was dealt with a little too light and fluffy.

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1 Comment

  1. 25th October 2014 / 7:52 pm

    The cover of this book looks really good, but then when I read your review, you’re right – Dear “Thing”, its a strange name to give an unborn child?? An interesting topic for a book though and even better a book club.
    Thanks for a great review.

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