Title: The Choices We Make
Author: Karma Brown
Published: July 2016, MIRA
Format: Paperback, 336 pages
Following her bestselling debut novel Come Away with Me, Karma Brown returns with an unforgettable story that explores the intricate dynamics between friends and mothers
Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate's skirt with a mirror. While they've been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can't help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.
She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah's heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it's Kate's turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah's surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.
Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of two mothers, one incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.
My thoughts: Once again, Karma Brown has blown me away with her writing...and made me a blubbering mess! I absolutely loved her debut novel, Come Away With Me, so while I was anxious to read this new one, I had anxiety about whether it would hold up as well as the first...but I shouldn't have worried - it's another phenomenal piece of writing!
Every once in a while, I wonder if a writer has been spying on me - I felt like parts of this book were taken right out of my life! That's how accurate Karma Brown nailed the emotional aspects of Hannah's heartbreak as she went through all those rounds of fertility only to get all those negative pregnancy tests...oh how I know that feeling. I've been there...and all those emotions were so spot on. But that's where the similarities with me and Hannah end - I decided to not pursue anything further, though we did discuss other options.
This is an incredibly fast read - once you start, it's hard to put down. You find yourself completely invested in Hannah and Kate's lives, wanting to know what is going on and what's going to happen next. And the mix of emotions as I read this book...I was laughing and then crying, sometimes even doing both. Karma has such a way of writing that she evokes a mix of joy and heartbreak and it feels real, not stilted or fake. That's the best part of this book - everything that happened in this book I could easily have seen happening in real life. But word of advice - have those tissues handy as you will most definitely need them!
This book will make you think...how can it not? It will have you putting yourself in almost all four of the main characters' positions - Hannah and Kate's as well as their husbands. There are so many different issues that come up in this book, some light and easy, and some quite heavy that leave you a bit unsettled, yet through it all, this book shines. This book is definitely one that is going to be talked about for a long time because of all the emotions it evokes - good, bad and in-between.
This is the type of book that I won't be forgetting anytime soon - not only because it has such a personal tie to my own life, but also because of the memorable characters - Kate and Hannah are so vividly drawn and really come to life in the book. While I raced through the pages to see how it would all come together, I also didn't want it to end - I just wanted to savor every last word and enjoy my time with these characters, especially as I know it will be another whole year before we get a new book by this author!!! Karma Brown has quickly become a favorite author of mine and I cannot wait to see what comes next for her!
The Choices We Make by Karma Brown is one of BookSparks "Summer Reads" reading selection picks.
Follow the #SRC2016, #BestSRCEver and #BestSummerEver hashtags on twitter to read reviews on this book as well as reviews on the other summer books!