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Will Jackson is a desperate man – desperate to be a dad, that is. Tired of his laddish lifestyle, he’s redecorated the spare room, traded in his beloved sports car for a 4×4, and even drawn up a list of his favourite baby names. In fact, there’s only one thing left he’s got to do – find a female who’ll have his child. But where on earth is he going to find a woman who meets his exacting standards? Certainly not in the usual bars and clubs he frequents. But Will has a plan – you can find everything else on the Internet these days – so why not someone to start a family with? From Friends Reunited, through the weird world of online dating, even to auctioning his ‘services’ on Ebay, Will’s journey to paternity is a hilarious romp through the pitfalls of procreation. But when push comes to shove, is Will prepared to trade passion for Pampers? What do men really look for when it comes to starting a family? Can the perfect mother also be the perfect partner, or are there more important things than a nice-fitting pair of genes?

I had never heard of Matt Dunn before reading this novel, but I’m glad that I gave him a chance. I was given the book by Ally, who is usually a very good judge of what I’ll enjoy.  I was sold when she said it was funny and had babies: what more could I ask for?

‘From Here To Paternity’ centres around a character called Will Jackson: Will is a life coach, he owns a lovely flat in Richmond and earns £100 an hour. Oh, and his office overlooks Ann Summers. Every young man’s dream life, right? Not if you’re Will. Will has decided that he is fed up of being alone and wants to become a father; all he needs to do is to find someone willing to be the mother of his child, so he sets out to find a suitable woman by his next birthday. Cue some amusing moments with online dating nutters, blind dates and cleaning ladies.

Will is aided [or at least laughed at] in his endeavours by his best friend Tom [a struggling actor] and his wife, Barbara [who seems to be really mean!]. This couple have the life that Will aspires to, yet he is completely incapable of taking any of their advice when it comes to how he can get the same thing.

I did really enjoy this book. The writing style was engaging and I read it in two sittings; Will’s character is endearing and his mother is mad but great. The only characters that I didn’t really like were Barbara [possibly because I’m a little scared of her!] and Tom [who seemed a bit useless!]. I didn’t think that the problems between Will and his father were very well dealt with – these issues are used as a convenient excuse for the history of Will’s love life, so I would have thought that Will and his father’s relationship should be an important part of the story, but I feel it’s dealt with far too quickly. My second teeny gripe is the rather abrupt ending of the book with everything suddenly sorted out in the last couple of chapters.

That being said, the ending is lovely and really heart warming, if a little predictable: it’s just the ticket if you want to curl up with in an armchair with a cup of tea. You’ll smile and laugh and by the end, feel a lot better about the world!

order now from Waterstone’s

3.5 stars

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