Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Review: "The No-Kids Club" by Talli Roland

At almost 40, Clare Donoghue is childless and she'd like it to stay that way. Her career as an Accident and Emergency doctor means that her schedule is far from child-friendly, and she's not broody like many of her friends. However many do not share her life vision and when yet another promising relationship ends because he wants kids and she doesn't, Clare decides to start The No-Kids Club, a place where childless people of any age can gather and not be subjected to talk about children all night.

What Clare isn't expecting when she founds the club is that some of the members will have such different reasons than her own for not having children. Anna is quite happy with her husband but she just doesn't have a desire for kids. Society makes her feel guilty for not being willing to procreate but, despite the fact that her marriage has grown stale and is in desperate need of a jump start, she is happy with things as they are. Poppy, an elementary school teacher, longs for a baby of her own but hasn't been successful conceiving and she will stop at absolutely nothing to try to get pregnant. When her increasingly desperate attempts to have a baby alienate her husband, she must decide at what cost she is willing to get pregnant.

These three women, childless for very different reasons, come together once a week to gather for The No-Kids Club and, despite the fact that they are very different from one another, find themselves forming a unique bond.

I became a mom at a young age and the funny thing is that I can't ever remember not wanting to be a mom! I had career aspirations as well, but somehow it felt like a given that children would be a very important part of my life. However I do realize and respect that not everyone wants children and that there are often circumstances that prevent others from having them. Some are unable to conceive, some don't meet the right partner and are unwilling to be a single parent, and others simply would rather do things other than have a child. I think that The No-Kids Club would be a success if it materialized in real life. Facebook and e-mail are inundated with pregnancy announcements and baby pictures and I can imagine that someone who is child free would find that tiresome after a short while!

I loved that Talli Roland chose to have three main characters in The No-Kids Club! I enjoy stories about different people that overlap in some way, and I especially appreciate it when the plot offers different perspectives on a common theme. Authors such as Jill Mansell and Marian Keyes, both favourites of mine, have done this successfully in some of their stories and I'm glad that I was able to add Roland's name to that list. Although Clare remained the primary main character (she was my favourite as well) adequate time is spent with the other two characters so that we get to know them and we come to care about their stories.

My only criticism is that the story ended too quickly for my liking! Even though all of the story lines ended in a way that felt complete I would not have complained if there were 100 more pages to read. I was enjoying the story that much!

In my opinion The No-Kids Club is another winner by Talli Roland! I've enjoyed her previous releases immensely and this book was no exception! It was well-written and fast-paced, and enjoyable to the very last page. My thanks to the author for providing me with a copy for review!

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