Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Until You're Mine

Title:  Until You're Mine
Author:  Samantha Hayes
Publication Information:  Crown. 2014. 368 pages.
ISBN:  0804136890 / 978-0804136891

Book Source:  I received this book as a publisher's galley through Edelweiss free of cost in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Blogging for Books.

Opening Sentence:  "I've always wanted a baby, even when I was little and didn't know where they came from."

Favorite Quote:  "She ... found herself thinking of everything else she loved about him .... Ridiculous, tiny things that, when added together, were bigger than life itself."

The premise of this book is described as how far would someone go to have a baby. Claudia is expecting to bring her first baby home any day now. Zoe is her new nanny, and she has a pregnancy kit in her bag. Someone is out killing pregnant women, in a particularly vicious way that looks like an at home Cesarean section! The women and the babies die. Lorraine is one of the detectives investigating the murders.

These are the three women on whom this book centers. We alternately see the story from their perspectives. Claudia's increasing discomfort with Zoe. Zoe's secrets. Lorraine's investigation which leads back to Claudia and Zoe.

The first two chapters introduce the Morgan family. They are apparently independently wealthy; they live in a large house in an affluent neighborhood and are looking to hire a live in nanny for twin boys and a new baby on the way. James is a Navy man, gone for months at a time. He puts his children to bed "drunkenly singing Aerosmith's Janie's Got a Gun" but putting the names of his four year old boys' into the lyrics. Claudia is a social worker, who wants it all - family, baby, yoga classes, and a demanding career as a social worker. She is mothering her new husband's twins, but is looking forward to being "a complete family" and "a real mother" when her baby arrives. Zoe comes in to interview for the nanny position. She tries way too hard to make a good impression, not even reacting to the twins throwing things at her. Neither James nor Claudia make any real effort to discipline the boys.

So, unfortunately, within the first few pages, the book is filled with entitled, self-indulgent, unlikable characters (that's the adults, not the four year old boys!). That impression really does not improve as the book progresses. After that, the book just drags for me, because I don't really care what happens to them.

Not caring is just as well perhaps, because part of the story line ends up in a surprise twist. Surprise twists can be the making of a suspense novel; some make you go through the entire book again to see if a reader could see it coming. This one is completely out of left field with no real tie in to the rest of the book. It's so far out as to the point of being somewhat irrelevant to the rest of the story. It is also unrealistic in that the character involved reveals nothing throughout the book, even though parts of the story are told in her first person voice. Do even her internal thoughts keep secrets?

Also irrelevant to the book is the entire plot line about Lorraine and her family issues. She is the police officer investigating the murders. Her husband Adam is the lead on the case. They are having marital issues and issues with their children. Other than the fact that the two are working on the investigations, their story has no real tie in to the rest of the book. It seems to add pages but no substance to the main plot. I find myself skipping the sections related to her problems.

The main plot line of a woman's need to be a mother and the extreme measures she will take to achieve that end was a promising premise. The book would have been much stronger sticking to that main story and exploring the psychology of that character. That would have been a totally different book. This one unfortunately is just not the book for me.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

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