BED REST by Sarah Bilston


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Three months of bed rest forces a pregnant lawyer to reexamine her life.

Quinn Boothroyd managed to neglect her personal life for years. The demands of being a successful corporate lawyer in New York meant Q (her snappy nickname) and her husband, Tom, spent most days amassing huge billable hours. It’s astounding that Q was even able to get pregnant at the pace the couple kept. A diagnosis of oligohydramnios changes everything. The doctor orders a strict bed-rest schedule for the final three months of Q’s pregnancy; ignoring orders could mean risking premature birth or worse. Scared into submission, Q is at first optimistic about her predicament. It’s a perfect opportunity to read the classics and sample some of New York’s finest take-out food. Boredom quickly sets in and then turns to panic as Q realizes she and her husband are woefully unprepared for the baby. The novel is written from the point of view of Q, who records each day of her bed rest. There are far too many lonely rants and descriptions of Q’s sweets-laden diet, and there’s nothing fresh in the romantic portion of the novel. The standard lack of communication between Tom and Q leads to a few predictable fights and tension. Q’s marriage never conjures much sympathy, as both its parties are dull, stubborn and self-involved, leaving the reader to ponder their suitability as parents. An addled subplot involves Q’s ditsy pal falling for one of the couple’s married friends. A bright spot is the author’s rendering of the untenable relationship between Q and her headstrong mother and two competitive sisters, who live in England. When the Boothroyd women fly over to assist Q, personalities clash and the reader is finally given something meaty to feast on.

The estrogen-fueled conflicts aren’t enough to save this tiresome tale.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-088993-4
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2006