Baby Proof (2006) by Emily Giffin is about relationships and what it takes to be a part of one. Giffin answers or atleast raises some very important questions about life and relationships and family. It starts with a bang, directly divulging in the main issue of a married couple, earlier agreeing on no children, but has somehow come at a fork in the road, when Ben, the husband wants kids, and Claudia, one who wants to be responsible for herself and no one else, did not and does not want kids, at all.
The writing style is crisp, quick and matter-of-factly, rushing to selective incidents and quotes to get to the main argument. Everything you’ll read, everything the characters will discuss among themselves, all the incidents that take place would involve babies. Surprisingly, in 370 pages, dealing with only one issue at hand, mainly, but as an extent, many other small issues about life, compensation, love, marriage, parenthood, there is not one time when the book seems redundant or boring. Rather, it keeps you glued.
The intricate plot and unexpected turn of events for different members of Claudia’s family make the book rich, life-like and interesting, making you wonder what will happen next.
Giffin is to be credited for creating very, very real characters who come with their own emotions, needs, desires, childhood history and baggage, and who even with the flaws, are humane; and Claudia’s mother is one such person.
*Spoiler alert* The only disappointment is the hazy and unclear ending. It feels like when the author can delve on one issue in such extensive detail, with such rationalism and argumentative adept of a lawyer (Giffin practised litigation for several years before turning to a full-time writer), leaving out the ending to the readers is not what I was expecting or hoping for. */Spoiler alert*
Claudia’s emotions and dilemma, reasoning and arguments are expressed so emphatically and firmly and sensibly, that it seems that Giffin has the same say in these matters, and must want freedom and child-free life (one and the same thing for Claudia) in real life as much as the protagonist. But Giffin, herself a mom of two, and a skilled writer who can make a non-autobiographical work seem real makes some balanced pondering over the issue.
A good read for one lazy weekend.