Book Reviews

The Growing Season by Helen Sedgwick

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List Price: £12.99

 

Hardcover: 320 Pages.

Published: 07 September 2017 by Harvill Secker

ISBN: 1911215957

EAN: 9781911215950

Without the pouch, Eva might not have been born. And yet she has sacrificed her career, and maybe even her relationship, campaigning against FullLife’s biotech baby pouches. Despite her efforts, everyone prefers a world where women are liberated from danger and constraint and all can share the joy of childbearing. Perhaps FullLife has helped transform society for the better? But just as Eva decides to accept this, she discovers that something strange is happening at FullLife.

Piotr hasn’t seen Eva in years. Not since their life together dissolved in tragedy. But Piotr’s a journalist who has also uncovered something sinister about FullLife. What drove him and Eva apart may just bring them back together, as they search for the truth behind FullLife’s closed doors, and face a truth of their own.

A beautiful story about family, loss and what our future might hold, The Growing Season is an original and powerful novel by a rising talent.

Reviews

4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars4.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Lots to Consider

In the not very distant future technology has evolved a "pouch". This is essentially an external womb which can be worn by a man or woman or hung neatly on a stand. It is fed with bags of nutrients and even has a microphone so you can play music to the baby as it develops. Women are free from the shackles of giving birth with a pregnancy that can be equally enjoyed by men or women. Does this mean that women are now truly equal? Shared parental leave can be exactly that. No woman needs to pause her career to give birth. People in same sex relationships can have a baby without the need for adoption or surrogacy.

Is this really what women want or do some women want the closeness of bearing and birthing a child? No more abortions are necessary as the unwanted foetus simply gets transferred into a pouch and the parents need never have anything more to do with it.

Is the technology perfect? Could it go wrong? What about all the unwanted children living in institutions which are struggling for money? Is this really a solution to society's problems?

As you can see this book raises far more questions than it answers. The whole concept is not that unlikely and is totally believable. Although the subject matter is different, I likened it to Robin Cook's "Coma" - a medical advancement which isn't far beyond our society but is it really what we want?

This book follows Eva who has been following in her Mother's footsteps and campaigning against the pouches for years. She has always been looking for the glitch in the armour of "Fulllife" the organisation which has developed the pouch and gradually privatised the NHS. On the other side we have Holly who was the first woman to ever have a baby using the pouch. Her grand-daughter is about to enjoy the birthing day of her baby. Which side is right? What is the right route for society?

I very much enjoyed this book. It raised so many questions in my own mind while I was reading it. What would I feel about this development? Would I ever trust this external womb? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Aswell as this questions, the book was enjoyable from a purely fictional point of view. The characters were interesting and all had their flaws. The plot worked well though a couple of the developments at the end didn't quite work for me. On the whole, however, it was a well thought out and well written book which I enjoyed reading. I would certainly take the time to hunt out another book by this author.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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