The cover for The Baby by Lisa Drakeford reminds me of my everyday life. Only with two kids who are pretty much mini tornadoes and destroy everything in their path, while calling me names and arguing with each other. Yeah, sometimes I miss the days when they were babies. But anyway, between that cover and synopsis, I was so sure that The Baby was going to be one of those laugh out loud books I just couldn’t put down. Unfortunately, while it was an interesting book, I just couldn’t really get into it.
When I heard about this book, I knew it was one of them that I absolutely had to read. Realistic fiction, especially those that revolve around pregnancy, tend to be some of my favorite books. So when The Baby crept onto my radar, I was super excited for it.
The Baby brings about a fun night of partying and celebrating, and it comes to a close with an unexpected surprise that no one ever imagined was going to happen.
“Olivia feels her heart hammering and her palms slime up with sweat. This can’t be happening. Surely the ambulance will arrive any minute now? Surely she won’t have to deliver her best friend’s baby in the bathroom at her own birthday party?”
The book starts off with Olivia’s birthday party, and her best friend Nicola is over to help get the party going. Olivia’s parents have gone out of town for the evening to allow her to have a small get together, which of course turns into an alcohol filled party. When Nicola is missing from the party for a while, and Olivia’s sister Alice (who is younger and at home at the time of the party, in her room) tells her that she has been hearing someone in the bathroom moaning and crying, Olivia manages to break her way in, and what she finds is astonishing – Nicola is on the floor in the bathroom, giving birth to a baby that she hadn’t even been expecting.
What happens next is a story told over the course a few months, from five points of view: Olivia, Nicola, Alice, Olivia’s boyfriend Jonty, and Olivia and Nicola’s friend Ben. Starting in February, when Olivia has her party, each of them narrate a chapter (a long chapter with a lot of stops in between), and they each get their own month, starting with Olivia’s birthday party when Nicola gave birth. Through each of these, we get to learn about the characters, including what kinds of secrets they are dealing with, what types of struggles they are going through, and whether or not certain friendships can be fixed.
“Suddenly it feels, with this new and unexpected arrival, that nothing will ever be the same.”
After Nicola’s baby is born, everything changes for all of them. Each character plays a major role, and when secrets come out, things aren’t always going to end in a happy light.
As far as the characters go, I’m going to admit that I had a difficult time telling them apart. I’m glad they each only had one chapter, otherwise I think I probably would have been flipping back and forth trying to figure out who was narrating. They just didn’t seem to have their own personalities, except for Alice, so I was really bummed out about that. Alice definitely had a different personality, though, and she really acted her age, which brought a lot to her chapter.
I hated Jonty’s character – he was an arrogant, abusive guy who didn’t care about anyone but himself, and it really shows. The way he treats Olivia in this book made me sick; especially when Alice has to learn about it. I found myself really looking forward to getting done with his section, as it was my least favorite in the entire book.
I liked Ben, though; he was funny, thoughtful, and he was he constant rock for Nicola when it seemed like everyone else had left her. His part in the story is a refreshing one, and I have to say, he was probably my favorite character in the entire book.
While this book wasn’t quite what I had expected, it was a still a pretty good read. It went by rather quick for me, and even though the book did have a few flaws, they weren’t something that took away from the overall concept of the story.
This book is a pretty good look at how a baby changes a life, but it is also a good look into how certain decisions that you make can change your life, as well.