Friday, July 22, 2011

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner's, Then Came You just found itself a permanent spot on my 'Favorite Books' bookcase.  I'm not referring to my 'Ordinary Books' bookcase that is in our guest bedroom- I am talking about my office bookcase that holds all of my favorite novels.  Not just any book can find its way onto these shelves, but as soon as I started reading Weiner's Then Came You I realized there was something special about it.

Then Came You takes place during current times.  Weiner tells her story from the point of view of 4 different women that at first glance have nothing in common.  Jules is a gorgeous blond, blue eyed Senior at Princeton.  On the outside it seems like she has the perfect life, however she is hiding a hurtful family secret.  Annie is a 24 year old wife and mother of two young boys.  As happy as she is with her life, she can't help but feel discontent with her current situation.  Running her household zaps her energy while the constant struggle for money makes her wish for things she and her family does not have.  Bettina is the daughter of a New York Billionaire.  She does not fit into the party scene, she would much rather spend her time at her job appraising art for an auction house.  She is fairly content in her life until her father shows up with his new bride, India.  India feels that she won the brass ring when she married her wealthy husband.  The struggles she went through as a child, teenager, and adult all seem worth it.  She has finally made it, what more could she want?  

Then Came You has all of the aspects I look for in a great work of fiction.  There are strong female characters that are well written and seem real to me.  I may not like a certain character but Weiner makes sure that I can sympathize with her.  The dialog is witty and there are twists that I did not see coming.  At one moment I found myself laughing while the next moment I was trying not to let the tears fall.  I was also able to escape reality while reading Then Came much as a mother of a two year old can escape reality (during some of my reading my daughter made it her mission to get my attention by splashing me from her baby pool that my feet just happened to be resting in.)

Then Came You tackles many important current issues, one of which is Egg donation and Surrogacy.  Weiner does a fantastic job opening up the door for discussion of this practice.  How does the egg donor feel about the situation?  Will she ever regret her decision or want to know about her biological baby in the future?  Can the Surrogate easily tell herself that the baby she is carrying is not really hers?  How will she feel once the baby is delivered and placed in its Mother's arms?  What about this new Mother, how does she react to the newness of it all?  Can she easily bond with the baby, or will she feel like a babysitter?  All of these crucial feelings and more are covered in Then Came You.

Jennifer Weiner's Then Came You is an excellent novel that I highly recommend.  If you are looking for a book with heart and humor, Then Came You should be your first choice!  This complimentary book was received for the purpose of review from Atria Books and


1 comment:

  1. This novels is told from four different female voices. Jules, a college student, ends up selling her eggs after she is recruited thinking the money will help her save her father. Annie, a young mother who married her high school sweetheart, with two young boys, a family stretching to make ends meet. India is 43, but tells everyone 38 and why not when she can pass for it, recently married to Marcus Croft, a wealth business man, and she is convinced the way to stay happy in their new marriage is to have a baby. But, Bettina, Marcus' daughter, doesn't trust India she might not be ready for the truth though.

    India and Marcus hirer Annie to carry their baby and have chosen Jules egg, though they don't know that as it was an anonymous donation. While Bettina doesn't trust her new step mother and in learning about her past really isn't sure what to do with the information. While that is going on the plot follows how Jules uses the money and is growing after graduating from college. How Annie is deal with having the money for her family, but her Husband not being comfortable with her growing belly.