From Here To Maternity
From Here to Maternity is the first book written by two sisters who grew up in Australia. These debuting sisters show wonderful promise as authors; their book is poignant, witty and the perfect read for today’s woman. It works because the main character is a successful, single female who has great secondary characters as friends. The plot is amusing and at the same time sentimental. Plus, it takes place in Australia, where they use words such as “nappy” and call each other “love,” and who doesn’t like that?
Sophie is a sweet and caring woman with a wonderful, albeit hectic, career who loves to go clubbing with friends. She has absolutely no experience with children, but must learn fast when she finds herself pregnant by Max, a boyfriend who recently left for America. A man who can commit to nothing, Max has little need for a wife or a child in his life. He offers Sophie money to help raise the baby, but she refuses.
Sophie does not need a man for she can raise a baby all on her own, or so she thinks. One would assume that being a single mother in today’s society would be a rather normal occurrence, yet Sophie finds that there are problems that she has not even thought about. Not only does she have to put up with the constant judgmental stares from “the mother police,” the looks of sympathy when people realize she is a single mother, but this woman who has rarely even held a child must also learn how to raise one. And all this must be accomplished with a steadily decreasing budget. What she does have, though, is a wonderful support group of friends whom she could not live without.
Sophie’s savings are going fast, and when her best friend Deb ends up at her house without a job, they decide to take their money matters in hand. If they could just come up with a plan, a way to make money while staying at home, then everything would be perfect. The baby market is definitely missing things for the nontraditional family. So Sophie and Debbie find a niche to fulfill in that market. With Debbie’s selling and purchasing expertise and Sophie’s experience with her baby, they soon find themselves working with a major department store to fulfill a large order for a baby product that appeals to the unconventional. Not only is Sophie’s career looking up, but she has also found a man to share her life with. Unfortunately her ex boyfriend keeps coming back to confuse her feelings and interrupt her life. In the end, Sophie has to choose between a risky business venture and a stable career, and the two men vying for her attention.
Sophie makes a wonderful character – not overly dramatic or overwhelming, although she does drink quite a bit. She’s a normal person with what could be normal problems for anyone in today’s world but instead of her parenting being the book’s main premise, it’s more about a young, single woman looking for a career, love, and a way to raise her child the best way that she can. Sophy’s worries and child-raising problems provide some great moments, but any reader – with or without children – will understand and appreciate this young woman’s life.
As funny as the book it, its focus is elusive. It could have been even more humorous had its focus been the first time mother dealing with a baby. But we learn little about the child herself throughout the course of the book, so if you’re looking for an hilarious book about being a mother, you won’t find it here. As for Max, we never really get to know him all that well; even though he too is central to the story his character only pops up in the beginning and is scattered throughout the remainder of the book. I’d have liked to have read more about him.
Though the end ties up a bit too quickly, the conclusion remains quite satisfactory, and even the minor problems mentioned in my review don’t detract from a wonderful story with a humorous and touching look at life’s ups and downs.
From Here to Maternity has been compared to Bridget Jones’s Diary in that both feature single, lovable, insecure women dealing with everyday problems with a supportive group of friends. But whild we love Bridget for her amusing quirks, we end up loving Sophie because of her major life problems and the poignancy of the story. There are so many books out there that focus on the single woman, but this book takes a unique look at the single woman’s life. In the end, we can’t help but feel an emotional tie with Sophie and hope that everything will work.