BLURB: “After Zoe Baxter loses her baby, the only way she can find of coping is to try again. But her husband Max disagrees – more than that, he wants a divorce. When they separate, there is no mention of the unborn children they created together, still waiting at the clinic. Then Zoe falls in love again, out of the blue, and finds herself with an unexpected second chance to have a family. But Max has found a new life too – one with no place in it for people like Zoe. And he will stand up in court to say that her new choice of partner makes her an unfit mother”
REVIEW: Continuing on my Jodi Picoult obsession, this book also addresses a supremely topical issue in a way that makes the reader question their beliefs and struggle to see both sides of the argument, with a twist at the end that, far from making the reader cry as usual, brings great joy. When Zoe and her husband Max divorce, great changes take place in both of their lives. After a struggle with his recurring alcoholism, Max is in a car accident and discovers the Christian faith. He ends up joining a radical Christian church that appears to follow the Bible to the letter. Zoe, however, is shocked to discover that the end of her marriage has led to her following an entirely different path when she falls in love with her closest friend, Vanessa. Zoe’s new relationship sends shockwaves through the community and, when Zoe and Vanessa marry and Zoe decides that she wants to use the embryos from her previous marriage to have a baby with her new partner, Max – and his new faith – are strictly against any idea of the sort. I would like to add here that my own personal views on the matter greatly influenced how I read this novel – I am a Christian myself, but am fully supportive of homesexual relationships and strongly believe that gay couples have as much right to marriage and children as any heterosexual couple in the same position. This, of course, made it hard for me to understand Max’s point of view, as I think many readers will. I think this is what made me enjoy the book a little less than the previous ones – it did not challenge any previous ideas or assumptions I had had, as I could not feel sympathy for Max and continued to side with Zoe throughout the book. Therefore, for me personally, the lack of moral conflict in this novel meant that I was far less gripped to the plotline than I had been with Picoult’s previous works. The court case at the end, however, was written with Picoult’s always excellent flair and had several exciting twists, and the ending of the book made me very happy indeed. I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of Picoult and would be interested to see if any other readers felt slightly let down by the lack moral conflict also.