Author: Julie Cohen
Published: May 8th 2014 by Black Swan (UK)
March 28th 2016 by St Martin's Press (US)
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most.
Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn't prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire-and even destroy their marriage.
Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make...
Thought-provoking, heart-rending but ultimately uplifting, Julie Cohen's Dear Thing is a book you won't be able to put down, until you pass it on to your best friends.
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Review: Dear Thing was a difficult book to read and I think it's gonna be an even more difficult book to review. But let's start from the beginning, we've got Ben and Claire, married and in love. The only thing missing from their life is a baby. They've tried everything and all the methods available to conceive but nothing has worked. Claire is ready to give up but Ben is blindly obsessed. This brings us to the main plot line: Ben's best friend, a single mother called Romily, can't stand seeing him suffering so much any more and offers to carry their baby for them. She already has a daughter and doesn't want any more kids and her first pregnancy was quite easy so why not? First think you need to know, she has been completely in love with Ben for years. Second thing, she has this brilliant idea while drunk. So it's fair to say that neither her nor Ben really think this through before going on with it.
As you can imagine, soon complications and unexpected feelings start to appear. Nothing is as easy as any of them thought and there is no going back now... As I said, this book was difficult to read because I had so many mixed feeling with these characters and their actions. I really wanted to think that Romily had her best intention at heart when she offered to do such an incredible thing. But I couldn't stop being suspicious. Also, Ben was quite blind to the situation. I felt like he went with the flow and didn't really understand neither Romily nor his wife, Claire. And then there was Claire herself. I didn't like her at the beginning but I felt really bad for what she was going through. There was a moment there, that I was so confused with what I was feeling as the characters themselves.
But Julie Cohen, being the brilliant and talented author she is, slowly made me care for these characters and really understand them. Emotions were raw and the topic was delicate but she handled is with tact and sincerity. And I soon found myself really invested with their story, wanting to know more and what was going to happen at the end. Also, I am really happy with the ending that the author chose. It fit with the story and made me respect the characters even more.
Also, I would like to mention a very special character in the novel, little Posie, Romily's daughter. She was the star of the story and in some occasions I think she had more wisdom than all the adults around her. Also, I found her point of view really interesting. With such a difficult and complicated situation, it was refreshing to see it through such innocent eyes. And she had her own story too, which I found really interesting.
All in all, Dear Thing is a beautiful but complicated story that will leave no one indifferent. You can agree or not with the character's actions but one thing for sure is that you will end up caring for them. With such a brave and controversial topic, Dear Thing is well worth a read.