Saturday, March 24, 2018

Book Review: 'Saving Abby' by Steena Holmes


When tragedy strikes can a woman live out her deepest dreams and desires?
Sounds like a romance right? Not exactly. Claire Turner and her husband Josh have spent years trying to successfully have a baby. As children’s book writers and illustrators, they are constantly in the face of what she wants most: a child. When she gets back from her trip and feels laggy, Claire finds out she is pregnant, but back to back with that news is something far worse. She has brain cancer and to treat it would very likely kill the life growing inside of her.
As a young woman Claire was forced to give up her child and now wants this baby with a consuming passion despite the health risks involved. At one point she even delays a doctor visit that might have helped her and I’m not really sure why.
This book should have grabbed me but from the onset, it lacked the emotional depth I would have expected from a storyline such as this. Gut wrenching choices? Absolutely. But I didn’t feel like I could connect with the character at all and that made me want to get through the book as quickly as possible so I didn’t have to prolong the read.
In the beginning, the relationship between the couple is set up well and you get the solid basis that is their life. It is very slow however. But when she gets the diagnosis, the book wavers and it becomes plodding in a way. I also kept looking for this Abby person the title suggested. Who is she? It was toward the end that I realized it was the baby that we hadn’t even really had much to do with. I think I would have called this book something else.
All in all it is a solid woman’s fiction novel but it left me sort of cold. Choices were made-hard ones- about a woman’s life and the life of her child but in the end I didn’t particularly care and wanted the book to be done. Not what I was expecting at all and that saddened me. I may read more from this author and I understand her other books are more engrossing but this one needed something to spark more reader identity.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.