Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Which Trai Reviews 'Waiting for Baby'

The Book: Waiting for Baby

The Author: Cathy McDavid

How I Found It: Random browsing online is my friend.

The Review: Lilly Russo and Jake Tucker broke up after a brief fling, one that ended when Jake decided he didn't want a relationship. He has three daughters and runs a busy ranch, while Lilly has her hands full working at a day care center for adults with special needs.

However, their lives intersect again once Lilly comes to Jake with a business proposition: the center was recently given a mule the clients can use and Lilly needs a place to board it and run the exercises. Jake agrees and the arrangement goes smoothly-- until Lilly realizes she's pregnant.

Lilly has already had her heart broken by previous pregnancies, all of which ended in loss, the final straw being the collapse of her previous marriage. With all that heartache in mind, Lilly finds it difficult to let Jake into her life once it is clear that he will have to be. During the next couple months, Lilly has to cope with both fear for the pregnancy and fear of commitment as her and Jake's lives come closer and closer to changing indefinitely.

For all the honesty present in the story told here, I had some mixed feelings about the book. The thing I liked was that McDavid was true to humanity and showed reactions in this book that didn't sugarcoat things. The reactions to the special needs adults Lilly works with aren't always kind. McDavid accurately showed how children can be afraid and nervous around special needs individuals, and how people can sometimes be rude and mean. Similarly, she wasn't afraid to address the strain of extenuating circumstances on families. Lilly has been badly burned by her previous experiences with pregnancy loss and her ex-husband's reactions to the problems, and McDavid didn't hesitate to show how that could lead to problems in a relationship. Lilly's hesitance to get involved with Jake seemed very real and warranted.

The main problem I had with the book was that Lilly's pregnancy and its complications seemed to overrule everything else in the book. I never really felt like I knew much about Lilly or about Jake, besides things that were relevant to the plot. Their romance took a backseat to the pregnancy and to the subplots-- Lilly working at the center and Jake taking care of his three daughters, one of whom is a rebellious teenager. There wasn't enough shown of Lilly and Jake as a couple for me to really get a feel for them.

The ending also seemed a little too tidy-- I assume it was because the book was very close to the end that there seemed to be a little hand-waving and "Oh! Look, he really is perfect for me!" It just seemed a little too forced for me in the end that Jake did so much for Lilly when she'd previously been a bit chilly towards his earlier attempts.

Overall, the book was good, but could've done with less focus on the pregnancy and more on character development and development of the leads' relationship. I didn't get to know these characters as well as I probably could have. Recommended to fans of romances.

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