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Babyville (2004)

Babyville (2004)

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3.58 of 5 Votes: 4
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0767912241 (ISBN13: 9780767912242)
broadway books

About book Babyville (2004)

I read Babyville as an abridged audiobook (only because an unabridged format was unavailable to me) and it wasn’t the witty, sarcastic read I was expecting it to be. At times it was downright depressing and sometimes irritating. What happened to the humor Green’s previous books were lauded for? Was it all cut out in this abridged version? If so, that’s a shame for both the author and the reader.This version of Babyville features the stories of three women all facing baby issues of one sort or another and whose lives intertwine in the most unexpected of ways. Julia’s story is first. When the story opens Julia is a successful businesswoman who, at first glance, appears to be in a satisfying relationship with her long-time beau Mark. But trouble simmers below the surface. Julia and Mark’s once passion-filled relationship has fallen into a rut. Julia feels stifled, bored even, by her quiet life with Mark. She’s an outgoing city girl and Mark is a homebody. She’s comprised much to make a life with Mark and has decided that having a baby will fix everything wrong in their relationship. She couldn’t be more mistaken but that’s beside the point because the two soon realize conceiving isn’t quite as easy as they expected. Julia obsesses over becoming pregnant, ruining her business reputation and straining her already troubled relationship to the breaking point. Julia’s pain, frustration and misguided anger are realistic and dramatically written and Mark’s tolerant attitude is almost pitiful. It’s easy to feel the pain of this couple and when the inevitable happens it’s was quite a relief.Next up is Maeve’s story. Maeve is another successful career gal but one who is desperate to avoid babies at all costs. She has no interest in kids and intends to keep it that way. When an out of the ordinary encounter with a handsome colleague leads to a one night stand that leaves her pregnant she immediately makes an appointment to have an abortion. Everything changes when she tells the impregnator of her condition and realizes that she is not alone in this after all. Maeve grows incredibly as a character and her relationship is the most satisfying of this trio. Unfortunately, because so much is going on (what with the three separate stories and all) her story quickly ends and the focus shifts to Samantha (Sam).Sam is happily married to her long-time love Chris and is expecting a baby when the book begins. When her story rolls around she is a new mom intent on becoming the Best Mom Ever. She spends her days cooking organic meals for baby George and neglecting her long-suffering (but always loving) husband. Eventually she feels unappreciated and fat and contemplates having a lusty affair with a new friends’ husband with near disastrous (and very embarrassing) results. Initially, I really liked Sam and felt horrible for her as her depression continued to spiral out of control. But as her story progressed she came off as somewhat of a self-centered nitwit and I lost a huge chunk of respect for her character though she does redeem herself in the end thankfully.As a working woman and a mother I could find a bit of myself in each of these women and I suspect many of us can as well. But, though their plights are realistic it is often difficult to like these women completely (at least in this version). They come across as self-centered and shallow. The men actually come off much more loving and tolerant than the gals.Another problem was the fact that this audio moves fast. Just as we’re getting to know the characters the storyline switches focus to an entirely different set of people with different “baby” issues. Is it the abridged format or just the way the book was written? I guess I’ll never know because I don’t feel inclined to read the unabridged version after this experience.

This book is about three women in their thirties, Julia, Maeve, and Sam. Julia is a producer with a live in boyfriend who is "trapped" in a boring relationship. Like so many people I know in real life, she realizes deep down that she is not happy, but after investing 4 years in a relationship she is determined to make it work. She figures that the spark always goes out in a relationship. Julia, like so many people in real life, doesn't know how to make herself happy and when her boyfriend Mark does not make her happy, she decides that she needs a baby. Julia takes her obsession with trying to conceive way too far, bursting into tears at the sight of pregnant women and trying countless rituals to get pregnant. In the end, her resentment proves too much and she blames Mark for her inability to conceive. They have a terrible fight, she flees to New York and once she is outside of the relationship, she realizes that she was feeling stifled. Julia throws herself into single life and...CUT - the chapters on Julia end. The story moves on to Maeve, a thirtysomething woman who replaces Julia in her producer job. Maeve is commitment phobic, as she was raised by a single mom who swung from relationship to relationship. Maeve is morally bankrupt and finds herself pregnant by Mark after a one night stand. Maeve seriously contemplates abortion but as she gets to know Mark she decides to keep the baby. This section ends with Maeve in labor. The third section is about Sam, Julia's best friend. Sam is kind of the "glue" - through Sam we learn what happens to Julia and Maeve. Sam's section is about a woman who is probably suffering from postpartum depression but is also feeling a lot of emotions that many new mothers feel. She feels fat and unattractive, lonely and bored (but doesn't want to return to work) and the only good thing she feels that she has going on in her life is her baby. In a bid to cheer her up, her husband sets up a "date" with another couple. The husband in the other couple (Dan) is a complete sleaze and he flirts with Sam. Sam, totally vulnerable and frustrated with her husband already due to her depression, falls head over heels for Dan. She starts to lose weight, buy new clothes, and basically acts like a college girl. Her husband isn't sure what is going on, but he's thrilled that Sam isn't depressed anymore. Ultimately, Sam finds out that Dan is a sleaze and they live happily ever after. The ending of this novel, needless to say, is feel good. All of the women end up happy. The story is a typical chick lit Hollywood movie kind of story. Jane Green is not a great writer - she writes in the present tense and her style is too repetitive for me. I seriously considered putting this book down forever during the Julia section (at least the first 100 pages). Julia is so insipid and whiny that I just couldn't bear it. Nonetheless, I know several women like Julia so it is realistic. Once I moved on to Maeve, the book improved markedly and I began to enjoy it more. By the end, I was sorry to have finished it.

Do You like book Babyville (2004)?

I don't know how this book is possibly rated so highly on goodreads. The story itself seemed generally relatable and appealing (mid-30s woman feels the biological clock ticking, wants to have a baby with boyfriend she isn't interested in so much after 4 years, she's jealous of friends with babies). I was interested to read it because it would represent "mommy lit" as a subgenre of chick lit. However, the writing was SO awful that I could not finish the book. I gave it a chance and read the first 60 pages, but could not push myself to read it anymore. The author does not show, she tells. She uses passive voice. She writes like an 8th grader. The characters' careers are in line with most chick lit (media, business, law), but nothing interesting was done with their personalities. Once in a while there was a bit of witty dialogue, but dialogue itself was sparse and scattered through paragraphs of just telling the reader about the characters without showing. It is not a page turner, I did not feel attached to the characters, and I did not feel engaged with the story, most because of the writing and the lack of developing what could have been a fun topic.

Julia wants a baby desperately and is unable to conceive. She focuses so hard on becoming pregnant to the point that she drives her boyfriend away. Maeve almost breaks out in a rash at the thought of being a mother. However, a night of - oops - unprotected sex changes all of that for her. At first, she tries to convince herself that she couldn't possibly be pregnant and tries to ignore the whole thing. Then, she is determined to have an abortion yet keeps putting it off until it's too late. Samantha wants the perfect life of wife and mother. However, motherhood is not a bed of roses for her. (Is it ever?) While she loves her baby, reality rears its ugly head in the form of exhaustion and extra weight for her. The book switches back and forth among these three main characters. We see how they become intertwined in one another's lives. Jane Green has done an amazing job of knitting these characters together and writing a fabulous novel. It will make you laugh, cry and, most of all, think.
—Connie Fischer

As the title would suggest, this book is all about babies. Trying to get pregnant, trying not to get pregnant, and adjusting to life after pregnancy with a newborn. What could have been an interesting look at the topic was spoiled by three of the most unlikeable main characters I have ever encountered in a fictional book, as well as a completely, pat, happy ending undeserved by the characters. All three women were completely selfish and self absorbed, and it's next to immpossible to enjoy a book when you hate the characters in it. The only thing that made this book slightly entertaining was towards the end of the book one of the women got her comeuppance in a completely humiliating (though well deserved) way, and those 2 pages were highly enjoyable in an otherwise completely wretched book.

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