Sunday, March 22, 2015

Early Daze by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

4 Star

What happens when nine months suddenly becomes six?

Life has always gone smoothly for Jess Jackson, but then she got pregnant and it wasn't just her breakfast that started going down the pan. And now her baby has "fallen out" before she's even started ante-natal classes.

Suddenly, she's sucked into the bubble of the Neonatal Unit, where tensions run high and the real world feels very far away. She has a new home, new routines, new friends and even a new crush, just when she feels most distant from her old life and fiancé. Add in sleep deprivation, hormones, worry and the fact that she has more contact with her breast pump than her baby, and her neat little world is in grave danger of falling apart.

The third trimester is never easy, but it's a whole lot harder when your baby's no longer inside you...

Kathryn - 4 Star

I was engrossed by this novel by Jennifer Gilby Roberts and have firmly put her on my list of my favourite authors.  I’ve now read three of her novels and they have all had a new feel. I appreciate that she’s not got a formulated book format and is branching out in her subject matter.  While each novel I’ve read is told in the first person I also found each voice to be unique.

Early Daze was emotional, funny and sometimes shocking. There were moments when I was on the edge with worry about the characters and other moments I was relieved to be with them. 

What appealed to me the most about Early Daze was perhaps the supporting characters who bring Jess’ tale to life.  Jess’ voice is sweet and thoughtful as well as being petrified-  but the ladies who rally around her and give her strength to push through are women we would all wish to have in our corner.  I liked the diary-feel of the novel and while it sometimes felt one-sided in the thought process I think Roberts did an excellent job of giving the other parents living near the NICU personalities of their own. I was intrigued by father Ben’s role in the plot and very glad he ended up where he did, I was hoping Roberts would avoid the clichĂ© of the new man…

While the subject matter was more serious than her other novels I still felt that Roberts put warmth and honestly into Jess’ role as a new mother- you can’t help but want her to pull through and that baby Samantha will be released from hospital as soon as possible.  There is a natural progression of their bond as Samantha gets bigger (which was virtually non-existent at her birth due to her very early arrival). While I’ve never experienced the fear of such an early birth myself I felt that the writing was genuine and the feelings expressed were true.

Thank you to the author for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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