Review Blog

Feb 04 2018

Surrogate by Tracy Crisp

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Wakefield Press, 2017. ISBN 9781743055083
(Age: Adult) Themes: Surrogacy; Motherhood; Adoption. Life is complicated, but the complications for the central character Rachael, a young nurse, become intense when an encounter with Dr Cate O'Reilly leads her to emotional, psychological and sexual foreign territory. This is the story of loss and barrenness, of taking extraordinary steps to resolve problems that lead to other complications. It also tells of the psychological webs that we find ourselves tangled in, when life's journey meets an obstacle or takes an unexpected path. Although this is a journey into Surrogacy and the difficulties this raises for all parties, it is also an exploration of adoption, stress, secrets and family connections. At no stage is the reader sure what will happen for Rachael and Cate, and this uncertainty adds power to the story laced with the pathos of doubt and ambiguity. And all female readers will wonder what would they do, and do good mothers give up their babies?
This is not a book for young readers as it explores adult relationships and issues, but it is compelling in its exploration of the lengths to which some people will go in order to create family or to keep a secret. Set in Adelaide and redolent with the charms of all that Adelaide offers, it is also an insight into the parenthood struggles of past generations as well as modern issues.
Carolyn Hull

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