Both Olivia’s and Felix’s biological alarm clocks are ringing in their ears. They both want a baby, and they want one now! They’ve moved to the suburbs for extra room and a garden, plus Felix has changed roles to bring in more money into the household, they’re all set. Except for some reason, no matter how hard they try, the pregnancy tests are yet to show a positive result.
This is the story of Olivia and Felix trying from cycle 18 through to 29 and, all the ups and downs that come in between.
The book is told from Olivia’s perspective and told in a modern style with snippets of text messages, calendar invites and thoughts captured on her phone – I thought this came across very effective and captured the raw and powerful emotions of Olivia, to the point that I felt that she was more than just a fictional character… it felt like a real life round up of the torments, a couple who are ‘trying’ face.
But whilst their focus was on creating a family, life still needs to carry on, which draws me to the secondary plot in this tale – a promotion up for grabs and senior management arriving in the office. Mads is a sexy Scandinavian, who keeps eyeing up Olivia. Given the gloominess at home, will she be tempted?
With period after period arriving, destroying their hopes, tension is high within the couple. Could IVF be the solution?
I’m not at that time yet, where I want to be pregnant, so I was pretty clueless on the topic, which meant I was blown away with some of the facts weaved into this story – and yes, I did go away and check if they were true!! The one that really made me mad was the idea that your postcode could determine how many cycles of IVF you could receive on the NHS – just wow. To think that you could be in a support group, and the couple sitting next to you that live 20 miles away are entitled to two more cycles than you, that just seems remarkably unfair.
Whilst the story mainly focuses on Olivia’s emotions and thoughts, I enjoyed the dash of manly thoughts thrown in from Felix. It is so easy to focus on how the woman feels about her empty womb, but being able to understand how crushing it is for a man to be surrounded by all of his friends who are now fathers… ouch – it sucks for both. I think Phillips perfectly captured the feelings of the couple.
Of course, a story like this wouldn’t be complete without some characters that try to bring you down. I wasn’t surprised by the dynamic between Olivia and her mum, and I felt Phillips captured the feelings perfectly – the resentment was weaved in among the love, so as not to create a character you would utterly despise.
Phillips hit the nail on the head with this story – she managed to create a poignant, funny and brutally honest tale that will reach to a wide audience. For those who are ‘trying’ – this tale will feel very relatable, for those who are about to start ‘trying’ – this tale should hopefully give you some perspective and make you feel not so alone when you don’t fall pregnant straight away, and for those who just love modern true to life stories – this will be right up your street.
Trying will be hitting the UK stores on 25th January (2018) in hardback
*Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for providing me with a copy through bookbridgr*
Until next time, Chloé x