Title: Then Came You
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Publishing
Release Date: July 12, 2011
Rating: 3 Bookmarks
Source: Engelman & Co. PR
Natalie’s One-Sentence Synopsis: Four women are bound together by decisions they make about parenting, family, and motherhood and each have a voice in Jennifer Weiner’s latest novel.
In the last ten years, I’ve read or listened to almost all of Jennifer Weiner’s novels and find her writing style to be entertaining and her characters’ voices to be authentic. Some of Weiner’s novels are set locally, in areas that I’m familiar with, making the stories more relatable and adding another dimension for me.
Then Came You tells the story of four diverse women and how they become connected through their separate actions. When Princeton University senior Jules Strauss is approached by a representative from a fertility clinic about becoming an egg donor, she is given an opportunity for financial compensation that might be the salvation her family needs.
Less than fifty miles away, Annie Barrow is a struggling stay-at-home mom to two boys looking for a way to help her family make ends meet. While she doesn’t have Jules’s ivy league education, she does have experience giving birth and decides to put her talent to work by becoming a gestational surrogate.
In New York City, India Bishop has struggled to get (and stay) pregnant with no success. Her husband, a wealthy man more than 10 years her senior, has children from his previous marriage but is willing to have another child with his new wife. His daughter, Bettina, sees India’s efforts as a way to take her father for a financial ride and intends to uncover her shadowy past and true motives.
Weiner weaves the lives and voices of these women together into an interesting story that deals with an issue I haven’t read much about. Then Came You deals with family dynamics, personal challenges, and flawed characters, but it also takes a look behind the scenes at pregnancy for profit.
Both Jules and Annie are primarily motivated by financial gain as donor and surrogate but ultimately end up in a situation I found implausible. There are complications and major plot reveals, but none really moved me and I just couldn’t warm to the ending. Weiner is a good story teller and had a great premise but the complication and resulting plot developments felt too far-fetched.
I’m sure die-hard Weiner fans will enjoy this one, and I do think Jennifer Weiner is a talented author with a great sense of humor and eye for detail. I follow her on Twitter and enjoy her tweets, but this novel just wasn’t a home run for me.