Friday, May 8

Perfect Match - Jane Moore

Though some couples would have drifted apart under the strain, Karen and Joe Eastman's bond has deepened since learning that their young son has a rare kind of anemia that requires frequent painful treatments. Their only hope of a cure is a bone marrow transplant from a compatible donor, but neither parent is a match - the only answer is having another child through genetic screening and implanting, who will be compatible. It is when they're tested that Karen learns Joe is not Ben's father - as she feared, he is the result of a drunken one-night stand with her best friend's boss, MP Nick Bright. Ben's only chance at a normal life is for Bright to agree to donate sperm for another baby, but the cost to his career and his own marriage is high.
This all seems like Jodi Picoult territory, but the cover of Perfect Match looks more like chick lit, complete with the tag line "for better, for worse... or just for now?" which has nothing to do with the plot. The main story revolves around the affect of Karen's disclosure on her husband, who himself had an affair, with secondary plots about Bright and his relationship, and Karen's best friend Tania.
I'm a little conflicted about how I feel - the basic idea is interesting, and there's token acknowledgement that the hypothetical created sibling may be distressed to learn he was born as a means. The main characters are well fleshed out, and there's no shortage of tension, as well as impulse and destructive behaviour. I was profoundly irritated by Joe, which may have marred my enjoyment of the novel somewhat, but even beyond that I had an anticlimactic feeling about the whole thing. For no good reason, eh. - Alex

No comments: