Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Book Review: This Child of Mine

By Sara Steven

When Stephanie is told she’s pregnant and that she is sick on the same day, she faces an impossible choice…

After trying for a baby for so long, finding out I was pregnant was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. But in the same breath as the news I had been waiting years to hear, the doctor told me I was seriously ill.

If I carry my baby to term, I will almost certainly die.

If I proceed with treatment, my baby will not live.

My husband – the father of this child – is telling me to save myself. But with all the secrets I know he is keeping from me, I can’t trust him anymore

What would you do? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

This Child of Mine grapples with every expectant mother’s worst imagined nightmare. What if there is a health complication, and it comes down to my unborn baby’s safety, or mine? I felt as though the author did an excellent job of showing what that scenario looks like for Stephanie, a woman who has wanted to be a mother for a very long time and dealt with pregnancy loss in the past. That outlook really raises the ante and feeds into her desire to put her own health aside for the health of her baby. But her husband James wants nothing more than to ensure his wife will survive. It felt as though it was an impossible situation to be in. If you knew you had a chance at having the child you’ve always wanted, would you risk your own life to see it through, even though you know what that ultimately might mean? 

As the synopsis indicates, James is definitely keeping secrets from Stephanie, and the secrets dictate his own feelings about his wife’s choices, and why he wants her to choose to proceed with treatment. Until that reason is discovered, it is a near-constant battle of doing what is ethically and morally right, but there is no black and white scenario to fall back on when determining what that is. Stephanie feels it is her body, her choice. James feels as the father, he has say, too, but doesn’t want to see his wife suffer and possibly end her life. It truly is a lose-lose situation, either way. The conflict from that begins to break down the relationship, along with the secretive mannerisms from James. 

There are a lot of well fleshed out characters with significant pasts lending into Stephanie’s decision. Life hasn’t been easy for her. The same could be said for James, too. It is the tragedies of life that I felt brought them together as a couple, but that same element could be the reason that they might not make it. The constant juxtaposition was riveting. As much as I wanted to cover my eyes and not read the ending to see what Stephanie ultimately decides, another larger part of me wanted to see this through to fruition. I’m still trying to decide on whether I am satisfied with it.

The synopsis asks, “What would you do?” I can honestly say, I still don’t know. There is no easy answer, and that’s one of the biggest elements I appreciated about This Child of Mine. It’s thought-provoking.  It gives the reader a tough question to answer and even now, after I’ve already finished the book, I’m still asking myself if I would choose to carry my child to full term, knowing it might mean I could die, or if I’d choose to proceed with treatment, knowing what that would mean for my pregnancy. I just don’t know.  

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

You can also get a signed copy through Big Green Books.

Emma-Claire Wilson is an author of emotional commercial and book club fiction. She writes ‘to make sense of the world’, and loves nothing more than tackling tough subjects and issues that affect her readers on a daily basis.

When she is not writing fiction, she enjoys exercising her brain muscles with freelance copywriting, coaching other writers or writing articles for The Glass House Online Magazine.

Her debut, This Child of Mine, although not autobiographical, was based on personal experiences and resulted in a highly emotional piece of fiction that secured her representation with Kate Nash Literary Agency.

After almost 20 years living on the continent, she returned to the UK with her husband, two daughters and rescue dog, Pip. Now, trying hard to acclimatise to the UK weather, you will mostly find her snuggled under a blanket; sometimes dreaming of her next holiday in the sun but mostly reading stories that affect her or writing books she hopes will affect others.

Visit Emma-Claire online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

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