The all-consuming desire to have a child leads one woman down a very dark road.
English couple Kat and Nick have been happily married for eight years, and though Kat’s work with a charity benefiting stroke victims is fulfilling, there’s still something missing: Kat desperately wants to be a mum, but she can’t conceive. They’ve already had one adoption fall through, and Kat is eagerly awaiting news on another arrangement. When Kat’s estranged best friend, Lisa, comes back into her life, seemingly by chance, they head to a pub and, over drinks, decide to put their fraught past behind them. As they're catching up, Lisa mentions that she gave birth to a little girl as a surrogate not too long ago. When Kat and Nick's new adoption proves unsuccessful, Kat is heartbroken, but she soon decides Lisa would be a perfect surrogate. A contract is drawn up, and Kat and Nick set about the business of getting Lisa pregnant, choosing to forego a clinic in favor of home insemination. When they get the news that Lisa is pregnant, Kat is over the moon, but Nick seems reticent. No matter. Nothing is going to ruin this experience for Kat, and she sees an opportunity to reconnect with her closest friend, whom she last saw after a car accident in high school killed Kat’s first love, Jake. But Lisa loved Jake too, and as strange things start to happen, Kat begins to question their arrangement as well as everything she thought she knew about her marriage and her past. Using her considerable talent for probing the dark corners of marriage and friendship, Jensen (The Date, 2018, etc.) throws more wickedly effective twists into the mix than you can shake a stick at. Just about nothing is as it seems, and Jensen’s urgent, brisk writing style begs you to read just one more chapter. If the genuinely shocking finale asks readers to suspend disbelief a little too much, they’ll probably be having way too much fun to care.
An addictive, darkly satisfying treat.