Book review: “Then Came You”
Reviewed by Alison M. Armstrong, of Blacksburg.
Collection Management Librarian at Radford University.
Probably best known for her books, “Good in Bed” and “In Her Shoes,” which was made into a movie in 2005, Jennifer Weiner can always be counted on for a good read.
“Then Came You” is Weiner’s ninth book. While most people would consider her books ‘chick-lit,’ it is without the pejorative connotations it brings with it that it is merely a beach book.
Weiner’s books are not overly cerebral but are always interesting, captivating and fun. Her readers want to know what happens next and connect with her characters emotionally. With most of her titles, her readers have a pretty good sense of where things are going. However, in
“Then Came You,” it isn’t readily apparent. Weiner introduces the women one character at a time, written from their perspective and, eventually, the reader sees where there are intersections.
Each woman has a different need and a different goal they are trying to achieve. Jules and her girlfriend, Kimmie, are Princeton students. She is struggling to break into the world of finance while her father struggles to break out of his addiction. She hopes to be able to afford a rehab center for him that will give him a chance to move on from his past and embrace a new, clean future. By being smart and pretty, Jules is approached about being an egg donor.
Annie has a husband and two wonderful boys. They love the big farm house they live in but cash is tight. Unlike her sister, Nancy, who married a doctor and wants for nothing, Annie can’t even dream of living a life of luxury. She would settle for new coats for her family. Her life is one of making due and sacrifice. After hearing about surrogacy on a TV special, Annie sees it was a way to make money doing something she is quite capable of doing. Her family is not convinced it is a good idea, and her husband is less than thrilled. Part of his reaction is tied up in his pride and shame of not being able to fully provide for his family.
Bettina and her two brothers are the children of Marcus Croft, a wealthy man in the world of finance, and Arlene Sandusky, now ex-Mrs. Croft, who is currently pursuing her yoga instructor and inner-peace in an ashram in New Mexico. Bettina gives the reader their first glimpse of India, her father’s current love interest. She sees India as a fraud and a gold digger. She turns to a private investigator to see who she really is. Bettina is fiercely protective of her father after having his heart trampled quite publicly by her mother; she doesn’t want to see him hurt again.
India, on the surface, is exactly what Bettina suspects but, she has fallen in love with Marcus. Despite her youthful appearance, India is past her prime childbearing years. After several failed attempts at pregnancy, India and Marcus look at surrogacy as an alternative.
Jules donates her eggs to get her father help with his addiction. Annie is chosen to become a surrogate for India and Marcus. While she is carrying their child, she and India strike a kind of friendship. Bettina’s endeavor with the private investigator goes farther than she imagined.
India’s life turns upside-down. The repercussions radiate out to everyone involved. Seeing how things come together is beautiful and leaves the reader wanting the story to go on and on. But, if you like her writing, you can look for her other books at the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, including her latest novel, “Next Best Thing.”
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