Thanks so much for having me here! I’m really pleased to be sharing my new women’s fiction with you.
I started writing This Fragile Life after a conversation with my editor in which she encouraged me to write what she called a ‘what would you do’ book—meaning a book that makes you think and wonder what you would do if you were in the characters’ situation.
The initial idea behind This Fragile Life was of two friends, one struggling with infertility and one unexpectedly pregnant, who decided to arrange a private adoption. Alex, the pregnant one, will give her baby to Martha. It seems like such a simple solution… but it is fraught with heartache for as Alex proceeds with the pregnancy she discovers how hard it really is to let go of our child. Martha, desperate and anxious, senses this, and so the adoption puts an incredible strain on their friendship.
That was the initial idea, but then another idea came to me to make it even more complicated. I don’t want to spoil the story by saying what it is, but suddenly Alex and Martha find the tables have turned and their positions are almost reversed. And so there is another ‘what would you do’ moment later in the book.
This Fragile Life alternates between Martha and Alex’s points of view, and while I loved giving each of them a voice, I also worked hard to make them equally likeable—and unlikeable! By that I mean that they both make choices you might like or dislike, agree or disagree with. Hard choices—because it is a hard situation.
Here is a tiny excerpt from Alex’s point of view after Martha suggests adoption, to give you an idea of what they’re both facing:
I hear what Martha says and I am both completely shocked and not surprised at all. I stare at her, my thoughts tumbling through my mind in an unholy kaleidoscope, so I can only snatch at fragments: if she adopts this baby, I'll see it all the time. We'll have to explain to our parents. I'll be pregnant and yet I won't have anything at the end. Martha will be so happy.
I shake my head. I'm not sure what I want to say or even think. "Martha—"
"Just think it over," she says quickly. "I know it's a lot to process, and of course there's a lot we both need to think over. It's a big deal."
Hell, yes. It's a very big deal. And still I just stare.
"Only if you want to,” she adds. “I mean, if you’re really sure you don’t want to keep it yourself. It’s an option, that’s all.”
An option that feels as if a bomb has been lobbed onto the table between us. How can I turn it—her—down?
Do you like books that make you wonder what you would do in the characters’ situation? What’s a book you’ve read that’s made you ask yourself that? Leave a comment and one random winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card!
This Fragile Life:
You love your best friend. You trust her with your life. But could you give her the most precious gift of all? Alex’s life is a mess. She’s barely holding down a job, only just affording her apartment, and can’t remember when she was last in a relationship. An unexpected pregnancy is the last thing she needs. Martha’s life is on track. She’s got the highflying career, the gorgeous home and the loving husband. But one big thing is missing. Five rounds of IVF and still no baby. The solution seems simple. Alex knows that Martha can give her child everything that she can’t provide. But Martha’s world may not be as perfect as it seems, and letting go isn’t as easy as Alex expected it to be. Now they face a decision that could shatter their friendship forever.
Where To Find This Fragile Life:
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