I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.
“Surrogate: A Novel” by Tracy Crisp is a story about a young nurse called Rachael who is asked to house-sit by a doctor from her hospital that she is loosely acquainted with. Dr Cate and her handsome husband Drum have plans to adopt a baby overseas. However when things don’t work out and they return home early, they first ask Rachael to stay and then the ask her to consider a much, much bigger proposition.
This is an evocative and unsettling story that explores the issue of surrogacy by pushing the boundaries of relationships. Crisp is a thoughtful writer who captures the day to day lives of Rachael, who is going through the confusing process of surrogacy, and her mother Mary, who went through something similar as a young woman. I thought Crisp’s real strength was exploring imperfect relationships and the reasons why people keep secrets from one another. The interplay between Cate, Rachael and Drum was particularly engaging.
I think probably the only thing I struggled with in this story was the role of Mick. Mick is Rachael’s father’s best friend, and Rachael is infatuated with him, but I just didn’t quite see how this part fit into the rest of the story. Mick seems to be a bit of a bridge between Mary’s past and Rachael’s present, but I’m not sure the foundations are quite strong enough to hold up that particular plot-line.
Anyway, this is an interesting novel that deeply explores the theme of giving up a child through the lens of ordinary people.
3 responses to “Surrogate: A Novel”
Again a cute pic Angharad. I have this book in my pile too, but am not sure when I’ll get to it. It’s an interesting topic, and one I think is going to be covered by a novel by Angela Savage coming out this year. It would be interesting to compare the two.
Thanks Sue! I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Savage’s novel, it’s an issue that hasn’t been written about enough I think
No, but there is also Elizabeth Jolley’s The sugar mother – a very Jolley-esque look at the subject though!