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 Crew, accomplished author of complex YA fiction, proves less adept with this simplistic adult debut featuring an infertile Oregon woman determined to give birth. Fortune has brought Betsy Bonden a loving husband, a comfortable home, and a satisfying career as a house renovator in the pleasant town of Mary's Bend, Oregon. But it's also left her barren, and ever since she discovered this fact, the thirtysomething chatterbox has become obsessed with altering destiny. Prattling endlessly and misguidedly about how perfect life would be if only there were a little one in the room upstairs, bouncy Betsy takes the reader along on an expensive pregnancy quest littered with temperature charts, gynecological procedures, violent monthly mood-swings, dangerous surgery for her husband, and, in the end, daily fertility-drug injections for herself. Readers are clearly meant to feel compassion for Betsy's predicament, but her stunning self-obsession--as she turns every conversation back to her struggle to conceive, refuses to consider adopting a child who lacks her genes, and nearly screams with envy as her younger sister and older cousin announce their own pregnancies--precludes any more pity than she already gives herself. In the end--having ovulated, donned a negligee, made a run to the nearest hospital for one last shot, and ordered her husband to perform--Betsy succeeds in her procreative mission. As an empathetic portrait intended to amuse, this misses the boat--a surprise, considering the writer's demonstrated talent.

Pub Date: Feb. 24th, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-11409-1
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1992