Thursday, June 26, 2014

The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland

4 Star

At almost forty, Clare Donoghue is living child-free and loving it.

Then her boyfriend says he wants kids, breaking off their promising relationship. And it's not just boyfriends: one by one, her formerly carefree friends are swallowed up in a nonstop cycle of play dates and baby groups. So Clare declares enough is enough and decides it's time for people who don't have children to band together. And so the No-Kids Club is born.

As the group comes together?Anna, who's seeking something to jumpstart a stale marriage, and Poppy, desperate for a family but unable to conceive? Clare's hoping to make the most of the childless life with her new friends. But is living child-free all it's cracked up to be?

Kathryn - 4 Star

Talli Roland always writes a really fun and interesting story and The No-Kids Club is no exception.  Her subject in this novel though felt unique, something a bit original that hasn’t been overdone and that was as refreshing as her writing skills.

Clare was strong minded in her mission to create a club for those who don’t have children- either by choice or by circumstance.  (I almost wished Roland had made the club only for those who chose to not have children as that seems to be a void in the world in general- a place where people don’t ask when children are going to part of your life plan?)  However, that was not the story written. 

The relationship between the three women, complete strangers at the start of the club, develops entirely as it would out here in the real world. Obviously it’s really awkward at first and Clare is sometimes just itching to get away from these ladies but as the novel unfolds they slowly start to trust each other’s intentions and support each other, despite their different goals and plans in regards to kids.  

Clare’s relationship with her best friend (busy career woman and about to have a baby..) was as realistic as it was charming – she was gently supportive of all Clare’s desires for her life without letting her own plans take a back seat in their conversations. I liked her immensely.  I also appreciated the scenes between Clare and her ex, Edward. Their break up was so honest that it made the whole novel begin on a reassuringly straight and truthful path.  You could feel how genuinely sad they both were to be finding themselves with opposite desires to parent- their break up seemed abrupt – but in reality most of us would get out as fast as possible rather than risk further heartache. You can rarely change someone’s mind when it comes to the desire for children.

I’m not sure I loved how things unfolded for Clare- part of me wished there had been another path taken by Roland?  And having accepted said path I felt the whole thing wrapped up a bit too tidily given the original feelings of our protagonist.  However, I loved reading The No-Kids Club and Talli Roland’s novels will always be a hit with me.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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