In Gelberg’s debut novel, workaholics Sarah and Rick are perfect for each other—until an unexpected pregnancy makes them rethink their priorities.
The novel opens with the most shocking of images: a young baby in a hospital, bleeding from every orifice. The infant survives, but it falls to Sarah Abadhi, a lawyer working for the hospital, to figure out what went wrong. The hardworking, no-nonsense attorney quickly uncovers a series of missteps by hospital staff that led to the child being given an overdose of the anti-coagulant heparin. During her investigation, she meets Rick Smith, the pediatrician who managed to save the baby’s life, and they have an immediate connection. Together, they agree the hospital should admit fault and try to avoid a lawsuit by funneling millions into correcting hospital shortages. Their plan succeeds, and they soon start a relationship outside the office. Rick, who has no desire to start a family, is perfectly content to discover that an old chlamydia infection has made Sarah infertile. However, not long after their courtship begins, Sarah becomes pregnant. Practical as always, she decides to leave the relationship to have the child, believing this may be her only chance to conceive, and relinquishes Rick of responsibility for the baby. Rick accepts these terms. The two separate but are brought together again shortly after the child is born, after a series of unpredictable events make them both re-evaluate their desires. The story’s message is ultimately a hopeful one—about forgiveness, compassion and second chances. The novel’s prose, particularly its dialogue, can be a bit flat at times (“I want us to be friends as well as lovers,” Rick tells Sarah matter-of-factly), and although the characters are likable, they don’t feel particularly complex. The overall story, however, moves along well; the plot builds nicely to keep readers sufficiently interested and curious, and its secondary characters, such as Sarah’s Jewish grandmother, add some engaging flavor.
A solid love story about overcoming physical and emotional odds.