Great with Child

  • Review
By – April 19, 2017

Bril­liant, over­achiev­ing Abi­gail is a thir­ty-some­thing asso­ciate at a New York City law firm, with part­ner­ship aspi­ra­tions. Her Ger­man-Jew­ish moth­er has recent­ly suc­cumbed to can­cer, and now her father is liv­ing in Flori­da with his new girlfriend.

We learn, from the first page, that Abi­gail is six months’ preg­nant and unmar­ried. So, we are led to think that Tim, the good-look­ing stranger who helps her up after she trips in a ditch in the street will be a per­fect can­di­date to make her an hon­est woman.” Or so it seems…

While this book ini­tial­ly has the mak­ings of romance fic­tion, it quick­ly becomes more com­plex. An assign­ment takes Abi­gail to a trop­i­cal island toward the end of her preg­nan­cy, when most women are restrict­ed from fly­ing. One would think Abi­gail is unwise to take this trip, but it nev­er­the­less charts the course for most of the events that fol­low, includ­ing the intro­duc­tion of char­ac­ters who end up play­ing major roles in her life.

Truth is, this Phi Beta Kap­pa for­gets her pill and has unpro­tect­ed sex. When Abi­gail real­izes she packed last month’s used pre­scrip­tion card, will doing fifty jump­ing jacks” the next morn­ing real­ly pre­vent con­cep­tion? Seriously?

Will Abi­gail end up with Tim, the man who went from pot­hole helper to friend, to love inter­est, to labor coach? Or with Richard, the father of her lit­tle girl Chloe, who Abi­gail attempts to dis­miss from her life because of a major mis­un­der­stand­ing and mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of a sin­gle phone call?

Then there’s the pres­sure to become part­ner in a cor­rupt law firm that poor, dri­ven Abi­gail endures daily.

Abigail’s sto­ry seems near­ly iden­ti­cal to that of Sex and the Citys Miran­da Hobbes, the dri­ven law asso­ciate toil­ing toward part­ner­ship, who had an oops” moment with unites­ti­cle Steve. Oth­er col­or­ful char­ac­ters abound, such as crotch­ety Eve­lyn MacAdam and the mys­ti­cal Arlie Rajani, Chloe’s nan­ny — who, although une­d­u­cat­ed like her boss Abi­gail, shows wis­dom with her pre­scient advice. How could Abigail/​Miranda have sur­vived with­out her clever Arlie/​Magda?

Great with Child is often pre­dictable, but do be pre­pared to expect the unex­pect­ed. Touch­es of legalese, along with gor­geous prose, entice the read­er into each scene.

Edith G. Tolchin has writ­ten non-fic­tion for the past 20 years and is a con­tribut­ing edi­tor for Inven­tors’ Digest since 2000. Her most recent book is Secrets of Suc­cess­ful Invent­ing: From Con­cept to Com­merce.

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