Monday, 28 August 2006

From Here to Maternity by Sinead Moriarty

From Here to Maternity
Sinéad Moriarty
(Penguin €??)

Synopsis: Emma and James have been trying for a baby for yonks – and as soon as they agree to adopt little Yuri from Russia, Emma discovers she’s pregnant. With a family full of eccentrics and a world that’s suddenly turned into exhaustion and fuzzyheadedness, Emma must maker her new life.

BABS, the bold younger sister, steals this story right out from under earnerst, careful, conscientious whinger Emma.

I laughed out loud reading the description of Babs making the most of a job selling bouncy fold-out beds on TV, as assistant to a musclebound Californian.

“Oh, Randy, I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun. This Slumber-Puff mattress is the best,” Babs coos, as Randy crashes down on to the bed (and Babs) to prove its durability. “I’m going to order one for myself.”

Apart from Babs, whose carefree lack of any moral standards whatsoever troubles poor solemn Emma, their mother is a consequence of the first water.

“Dear, oh, dear, Mummy’s very touchy today,” says the horrid old bag to baby Yuri (whom she ends up minding, after doing her best to persuade Emma not to adopt him). She helpfully tells Emma when her jeans are too tight and she looks like a slob.

But Emma isn’t the ma’s only target – her brother, Sean, has got himself engaged to an Iranian. Married in a mosque? “Lord save us and bless us, that Taliban crowd and your man Osama bun Ladle will be turning up next,” worries the mother.

Dubliner Sinéad Moriarty is the author of The Baby Trail and The Right Fit (also sold as A Perfect Match) – and From Here to Maternity follows the same characters through the next stage of their fertility conundrums – annoyingly moany Emma with her adoption and birth, and her friend Lucy with the opposite.

Lucy doesn’t want a baby yet (at 36!) and thinks she’s plenty of time, while her husband wants a rake of kids to join him on the rugger pitch.

When Babs is on the scene, From Here to Maternity lights up, and it’s worth the read just for her. A brilliant character, who shows Moriarty’s unexpected flair for side-splitting humour and fun.

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