Zoe and Max Baxter have a difficult marriage. After a storybook love-at-first-sight romance, they have sadly endured years of infertility and heartbreaking miscarriages. Max turns to alcohol to soothe his pain and Zoe focuses on her career as a music therapist to rebuild her life. Nearing forty years old Zoe knows her chances and dreams of motherhood may not be possible after all. Her friendship with Vanessa, a highschool guidance counselor, blooms into more, surprising everyone, especially herself. Very quickly (waaaaaaay too quickly) she and Vanessa marry and want to use the embryos Max and Zoe had frozen in the past. The situation becomes an intense court battle where Max has aligned himself with his brother’s church, and Zoe and Vanessa pretty much have to battle the entire world. A gay marriage that is not recognized in their home state of Rhode Island (at the time), family court where the argument for frozen embryo’s and how assets get divided in a divorce, and most importantly what is best for this future child. These are a mountain of issues for one novel. Although, Jodi Picoult, the queen of storytelling does a great job with these characters (and my book club will have a lot to discuss this coming Monday!) the court case dragged the last 100 pages. These are all interesting hot topics but it all felt too contrived.
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