Peace love and khaki socks by Kim Lock
Midnight Sun, 2013. ISBN 9780987380913.
(Age: Adult - Senior secondary) Graphic designer Amy Silva, 24, is one of Darwin's army wives having come with partner Dylan when he was transferred. She feels she doesn't fit in with the army culture 'Every day I lived a contradiction. The Pacifist Hippy in love with the Gun-Toting Soldier.' but she loves Darwin, her job and her relationship, 'like the contrasting teeth of a zipper, somehow we were a perfect fit.' Her world is turned upside down when she discovers that a single missed pill has resulted in pregnancy. She has no rapport with her GP or the obstetrician she is referred to so decides on a home birth.
The descriptions of Darwin, its lush beauty and dramatic climate are beautifully evoked and contrasted with Hill End, the area where she grew up down south when they go home for Christmas. During this visit the maturing relationship with her mother is handled with humour and sensitivity. I liked the interleaved flashback accounts of Amy's childhood journey to sexual awareness and the way the challenges to her relationship with her best friend Hannah are managed but I found it hard to relate to the main character and her decision making about her birthing options. Hospital birth is unremittingly drawn as awful and homebirth as the solution. When she argues that it is 'my body' she denies the right of her partner to be part of the decision making and of the child to have the best birth possible.
Adult readers, especially those familiar either with Darwin or army culture will enjoy this book and possibly older students interested in pregnancy.