Saving Abby by Steena Holmes

Saving Abby by Steena Holmes
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (298 pgs)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

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?

When tragedy strikes can a woman live out her deepest dreams and desires?

Sounds like a romance right? Not exactly. Claire Turner and her husband Josh have spent years trying to successfully have a baby. As children’s book writers and illustrators, they are constantly in the face of what she wants most: a child. When she gets back from her trip and feels laggy, Claire finds out she is pregnant, but back to back with that news is something far worse. She has brain cancer and to treat it would very likely kill the life growing inside of her.

As a young woman Claire was forced to give up her child and now wants this baby with a consuming passion despite the health risks involved. At one point she even delays a doctor visit that might have helped her and I’m not really sure why.

This book should have grabbed me but from the onset, it lacked the emotional depth I would have expected from a storyline such as this. Gut wrenching choices? Absolutely. But I didn’t feel like I could connect with the character at all and that made me want to get through the book as quickly as possible so I didn’t have to prolong the read.

In the beginning, the relationship between the couple is set up well and you get the solid basis that is their life. It is very slow however. But when she gets the diagnosis, the book wavers and it becomes plodding in a way. I also kept looking for this Abby person the title suggested. Who is she? It was toward the end that I realized it was the baby that we hadn’t even really had much to do with. I think I would have called this book something else.

All in all it is a solid woman’s fiction novel but it left me sort of cold. Choices were made-hard ones- about a woman’s life and the life of her child but in the end I didn’t particularly care and wanted the book to be done. Not what I was expecting at all and that saddened me. I may read more from this author and I understand her other books are more engrossing but this one needed something to spark more reader identity.

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