Title: Saving Abby
Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: May 31, 2016
Book Blurb: All children’s book illustrator Claire Turner ever wanted was to be a mother. After six years of trying to conceive, she and her husband, Josh, have finally accepted that she will never be pregnant with a child of their own.
Yet once they give up hope, the couple gets the miracle they’ve been waiting for. For the first few months of her pregnancy, Claire and Josh are living on cloud nine. But when she begins to experience debilitating headaches, blurred vision, and even fainting spells, the soon-to-be mother goes to the doctor and receives a terrifying diagnosis. Since any treatment could put their unborn baby’s life at risk, the Turners must carefully weigh their limited options. And as her symptoms worsen, Claire will have to make an impossible decision: Save her own life, or save her child’s?
Claire and Josh Turner are the perfect couple. They are totally in love almost to the point of their lives being too good to be true. The only thing they don't have is a child and it is something that they long for. Their trip to Europe to work on the children's book series that they write and illustrate is their way to mourn not having children.
Claire is just a little bit much at home with her lists, and her mourning the child she can't have. She had a child in her teenage years that she was forced to give up for adoption. This has shaped her desire for another child.
When they return she becomes strangely lethargic with headaches. Her first pregnancy since her teenage years is confirmed. I don't know how anyone didn't get her checked out for something more serious than pregnancy very early on.
Pregnancy is one thing, but very seldom being able to get out of bed is another. Then there are the headaches. That was another thing that was a trigger for me. Yes, pregnancy changes your hormones, but debilitating headaches are something that should always be checked out. I found the way she tried to pass off her health problems troubling, for someone who had so much to live for.
I went into this book expecting something like Steel Magnolias. I was really prepared to hate Claire, and in some ways I did. I'm not sure what choice I'd make, but when Claire finally got diagnosed, it was grim.
I looked up the condition she had, and in some ways it made me understand her choice. It also made me question both of her doctor's that were trying to give her hope, when in all realities, her prognosis was grim from the get go. Actually, considering the fact that she had 2 tumors, I wondered why she wasn't seeing an oncologist rather than two doctors that weren't specialists. Actually I really wondered who her OB-GYN was.
There's a subplot involving the child she gave up as a teenager and her mother, which is a bit sad, when you reach the end of the story. I think Claire's mom was one of my favorite characters in the book. She's a woman who has been through a lot and has tried to do her best by her family.
This book was meant to be depressing and it succeeds in that in spades and the ending, though expected was a bit of a surprise.
It is the kind of book that you don't put down once you start it.
Rating: 4 flowers