The Mothers by by Genevieve Gannon (Review by Samantha Helias)

2 min read

3.75 stars

Grace and Dan Arden are happily married. They’re in good health, successful in their careers and they maintain vibrant relationships with their friends and family. The only thing missing from their lives is children of their own. Being in their 40s, they know it could be difficult to start a family naturally so they begin IVF treatments. After 6 attempts with no success, Grace and Dan become less and less hopeful and more and more desperate.

After being together for 15 years, Priya and Nick Archer have just recently started trying for a baby. When 2 years go by and they haven’t had any luck, they seek out IVF treatment themselves. Due to the stress of it all and some problematic coping mechanisms, the two of them split and Priya decides to continue the fertility treatments with an anonymous donor instead. She opts for a man who has shared Indian heritage insisting that her baby could feel
more at home if it looks similar to her.

When a hectic day at the IVF clinic causes an embryologist to confuse Arden for Archer, Grace is accidentally implanted with the embryo meant for Priya. She soon becomes pregnant and just assumes that after trying for so long her and Dan finally got lucky with their treatments. When the baby is born with undeniably darker skin and different features than the Nordic looking Ardens, they find themselves confused. Tensions rise as they try to figure out what could have happened and they soon find themselves at a crossroads. Who is the rightful mother of this newborn child? Based on a real life case of an IVF laboratory mix up, The Mothers is a family drama about the widespread effects of an unfortunate human error and the unconditional love
parents have for their child.

While I found the first few chapters slow and difficult to get through, I was pleasantly surprised to see what a page-turner this book became. Gannon writes with fervor and empathy that translates well no matter which character’s perspective you’re reading. She also has a plethora of knowledge about the IVF journey. This book is emotional in ways I did not anticipate and I would recommend it to anyone interested in stories surrounding family planning.

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