The Two Week Wait – Sarah Rayner

Two different women. In two different parts of the country.  These two women have one goal – to have a baby. Not knowing each other both these women have to go through the two week wait. 

But how can they help each other?

Sarah Rayner’s novel uses the three main characters from her previous novel One Moment, One Morning. The story is mainly of Lou, who having found love with Sofia and settling into the fact that her mother now knows she is gay, wants something else – a baby. When a health scare makes this a necessary choice sooner rather than later, Lou investigates all her options.

Cath, is a new character and is recovering from having cancer. Cancer which has left her infertile. She adores her nephews and wants nothing more to be able to have children of her own with her husband, Rich. He also realises that he would like to be a father too. They begin to investigate all their options.

What Rayner does in this story is then alternate between the two women as they embark in this life changing journey. It opened up a whole world that I knew little about; IVF, egg sharing and that long two week wait when the recipients see if it has been successful and ultimately in this novel whether Lou and Cath are pregnant.

Rayner handles a very delicate and private subject with care and enough details to feel empathy for the characters as they go through their day to day life and deal with infertility. But there is a casually balanced other side to the story of both Lou and Cath who meet up with people who have very differing opinions to the ways they are going about conceiving a child. This was a fine balancing act which the author does well, and although Cath’s sister in law was an awful character and could have quite held her tongue on occasions she was giving a rounder picture to the novel itself. In Lou’s case it was Adam who was giving a voice of reason and more importantly the voice of doubt about becoming father and the role he would play in raising a child especially if he was not romantically linked to the mother.

Be prepared for this book to surprise you at different points as perhaps your understanding and view of IVF, fertility, egg donors is challenged. It becomes an emotional journey for the reader as it does the characters and no doubt the author.

The author describes this book as more of a sister novel than actual sequel. I did not realise when I started it that it was using the characters from her other novel. It works well as a novel on its own, but I did pick it up because I had read the author previously; I would not have picked it up otherwise, because the topic is not something which has affected me. It deals with the strength of relationships and friendships but it is ultimately a book about infertility which is a brave subject for Rayner to tackle in a book that is somewhat packaged as being rather light and fluffy.

An interesting thoughtful emotional read nonetheless.