Expecting by Ann Hamilton
Release Date - July 2014
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
"What makes a book impossible to put down?" I came across that post on my Facebook feed yesterday and instantly knew the answer. There must be an immediate connection to one or both main characters. Ann Hamilton nailed it with her debut, Expecting.
It's likely you already know some of Ann Hamilton's other work. She's an award-winning writer, director, and producer who's worked on shows like Thirtysomething, Party of Five, Gray's Anatomy, and my current viewing addiction, Haven. Her debut novel takes readers into the world of Laurie and Alan.
After struggling to become pregnant, Laurie miscarries multiple times. With the help of a fertility doctor, Laurie is pregnant again, but her and Alan's world is torn apart when they learn there was a mix up with the sperm. Laurie is carrying another man's baby.
Alan is not handling the news well, and Laurie's insistence on finding out who the donor is isn't sitting well. That donor, a college student, is just as surprised as Alan. Alan is already handling the news poorly, and Laurie's determination to get to know the sperm donor may be the thing that tears their world apart.
I've had two miscarriages, one at four months and the other at a month, so I knew what Laurie was feeling during those chapters. I don't care what anyone tells you. Whether it is the words I'll never forget that come from your OB/GYN's mouth - "Be thankful you miscarried, otherwise your baby would have been retarded or defective in some way." - to people's "You became pregnant once, so you'll do it again." My thoughts toward miscarriage fall into the line of tell someone "Sorry" and then say nothing more. My empathy for Laurie made this book feel very personal. I was drawn to her character and couldn't put the story down.
Expecting is an emotional story. It had me tearing up at times, smiling at others. One thing is clear. This is a book that is hard to put down and captures the frustrations, joy, and pain that comes with pregnancy or the attempt to become pregnant.