Julia and Mark are stuck in a loveless relationship. Julia thinks a baby will help, but perhaps that isn’t the answer to her problems. Maeve is totally allergic to commitment – she breaks out in a rash whenever she passes a buggy. Then a one-night-stand results in an unwanted pregnancy. But just how unwanted is it? Samantha is besotted with her new-born baby. But how is husband Chris coping with his suddenly unavailable wife, and is Samantha’s obsession as healthy as it seems?

‘Babyville’ is the fifth novel by authoress Jane Green, centring around the lives of three women, Julia, Maeve and Samantha.

Julia’s got a great career and lives with her long-term boyfriend Mark in his beautiful house, but despite this pretty perfect life, she’s still not content. Julia believes that her unhappiness stems from her inability to conceive and she’s rapidly becoming obsessed with becoming pregnant – but will a baby repair what’s wrong with Mark and Julia’s relationship?

Maeve has just moved to London from Brighton to start a new job. She’s not looking for a man and is determined to concentrate on her career – that is however until she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant.

Samantha totally adores her new baby, George; so much so, that her husband Chris is wondering what on Earth has happened to his loving wife. Samantha wants only the best for her baby, and that means doing everything herself as she feels that Chris has suddenly become completely useless. Will Samantha remember how great her husband is or will she start looking elsewhere?

’Babyville’ is divided into three sections, one for each of the main characters. This gives the reader a chance to get to know the characters individually and become very involved in their personal stories. Whilst I don’t think that the book’s plot is particularly awe-inspiring, it is well-written and very entertaining, despite the often underlying seriousness.  The characters are intriguing – Mark, in particular, is lovely and I would defy most women to read this book and not develop at least a little bit of a crush on him. For me, Julia was the weakest character in the book and I really didn’t identify with her very much, though I did find satisfying how things pan out between her and Mark!

The novel isn’t so much about babies, but rather about what babies [whether you can have them or not] do to your life, and how people react to those new circumstances. And it’s certainly a book which would appeal to a wider audience than just new mothers. It’s not as funny as Jane Green’s earlier books, such as ‘Jemima J’ or ‘Mr Maybe’, and has at its core some quite serious issues which are dealt with realistically and sympathetically.

I would certainly say that ‘Babyville’ is a good and entertaining read. In my opinion it’s one of Jane Green’s better books, and I’ve read it a couple of time when I’ve wanted something easy and comforting to relax with.  I would advise any chick lit fans to give it a try.

4 stars

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