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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Leaving Haven: Two Women at Loose Ends, One Baby Stuck in the Middle

(Image from Barnes & Noble)


For the last decade, 41-year-old Georgia Bing's been obsessed with one thing: getting pregnant.  She and her husband John always planned to give their now 13-year-old daughter a sibling, it just hasn't happened yet, no matter how hard they try.  And Georgia has tried everything.  To no avail.  Just when Georgia's finally ready to give up all hope, her best friend Alice Kinniard offers to become an egg donor.  The donation leads to a healthy pregnancy, which puts Georgia over the moon.  She's ecstatic about the new baby, can't wait to hold him and love him.  

Then, Georgia discovers a shocking betrayal, one that will change everything she knows about her marriage, her best friend and her ability to mother her infant son.  As she tries to piece her life back together, Georgia will have to decide what to fight for, what to let go of and who to trust with her newly shattered heart.  Plagued with guilt and shame, Alice can only watch, helpless, as her carefully-ordered world falls apart.  With her marriage on the rocks, her one true friend gone and her teenage daughter's welfare to consider, Alice has to make her own difficult choices.  But how can she mend what she so recklessly tore apart?  Will her husband ever trust her again?  Will Georgia?  With Georgia and Alice grappling to navigate their way through this fractured new reality, the most important question isn't how they will cope, but what will happen to the baby they both helped to create?  

It's difficult not to be drawn into Leaving Haven, an intense new family drama by Kathleen McCleary.  The characters are well-drawn, so much so that it's hard not to feel empathy for all of them.  The conflict at the heart of the story gives the novel enough tension and drama to keep the reader interested, even when the subject matter gets depressing.  While the premise may seem a little far-fetched, Leaving Haven actually felt very authentic to me.  Even the ending, while not as satisfying as I wanted it to be, seemed real.  So, while I found the book to be a bit of a downer, I also found the story riveting.  I cared about the characters, the plot kept me guessing and the prose didn't make me want to scratch my eyeballs out with a toothpick.  That equals a decent read in my book.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  



If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder invectives) and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Leaving Haven from the generous folks at Harper Collins via those at TLC Book Tours.  Thank you!
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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