Thursday, October 01, 2020

"Perfect" Parenting Aside, She Gets That From Me Is a Buoyant, Upbeat Read

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Quinn Langston has always wanted a family of her own.  With no marriage prospects on the horizon, the 36-year-old interior designer is considering using a sperm donor to have a baby on her own—just like her best friend, Brooke Adams, did.  Then, Brooke dies suddenly and unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm.  Although Brooke's 3-year-old daughter, Lily, is technically under the guardianship of her 79-year-old grandmother, Quinn steps up to care for both the little girl and elderly Miss Margaret.  Aiding the two helps Quinn grieve while also fulfilling her desire for a family.  

Then, Miss Margaret throws Quinn a curveball.  She wants to find Lily's birth father, insisting that only family can raise family.  

When Zach Bradley donated his sperm back in college, he was thinking only about the money it would earn him, not about the children it could produce.  Although he's shocked by the reality of having a child, Zach's prepared to step up.  One problem:  his wife, who has struggled for years to have a baby, can't stand the thought of watching him play daddy to another woman's baby.  They're already in the middle of a move to faraway Seattle.  What does Zach really owe Lily and her family?

As the lives of Quinn, Zach, Margaret, and Zach's wife, Jessica, converge, all of them will learn important lessons about love, duty, sacrifice, and what it really means to be a family.

She Gets That From Me by Robin Wells is an engrossing novel with an intriguing and very contemporary conflict at its core.  It's peopled with a likable cast, each member of which I found sympathetic, even if I didn't agree with their particular choices and viewpoints.  While the plot is mostly predictable, the story still kept me engaged.  It's warm, upbeat, and heartfelt.  Quinn and Zach both struck me as a little too perfect—each needed some annoying flaws to make them more human.  I also chuckled at Quinn's almost seamless transition into single motherhood and her "struggles" with parenting.  True, a little whining and projectile vomit isn't fun, but it's hardly the pinnacle of problems when it comes to dealing with a young child, especially one whose world has been rocked by death and upheaval.  I get that She Gets That From Me strives to present single parenting by choice in a positive, respectful light, but I wish it had been a little more authentic.  I've been through four 3-year-olds and it wasn't easy, even with a loving partner to help me deal with them!  Quinn's experience just felt inauthentic, which made me roll my eyes instead of connect more strongly with her.  These complaints aside, I enjoyed She Gets That From Me.  Its premise is intriguing, its characters are relatable, its vibe is buoyant, and its lessons are valuable.  Despite its flaws, I found it an engaging and thought-provoking read.

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

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (1 F-bomb, plus a few milder expletives) and innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of She Gets That From Me from the generous folks at Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a complicated set of relationships, but a nice story.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds like a nice story but I have to agree Quinn's journey into parenthood sounds more then a bit unrealistic!

    ReplyDelete

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