July 2011

A modern story of motherhood

By Jennifer Weiner
Review by
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Jennifer Weiner’s latest novel, Then Came You, opens with a scene her readers would expect from this best-selling author—but it unfolds unlike any other she’s ever written. In the first pages of Then Came You, a man walks over to a woman having lunch and asks to sit down. He compliments her, tries to buy her meal, and then, just when readers expect him to fish for her phone number, he poses a question: “How would you like to make twenty thousand dollars?” He’s talking about egg donation, and just like that, Then Came You instantly veers off the ordinary path and dives headlong into a very modern story of motherhood.

Beautiful and athletic Princeton grad Jules, courted by a rep from the fertility center, considers how the hefty reward could buy her father another much-needed round of rehab. Jules’ story intersects with Annie’s, a stay-at-home mom of two boys who is considering surrogacy to make ends meet. India, the newly wedded second wife of wealthy, older Marcus, needs both Jules and Annie to help her conceive a child.

Bettina, Marcus’ daughter, is incensed when she gets the news that she’ll have to graft a half-sister onto her fractured family tree. She does her best to expose India as a Botoxed, gold-digging phony. But Bettina grapples with her own insecurities, especially when it comes to making her life count for something outside of her work. Though India’s maternal instincts surface for seemingly obvious reasons—to secure her inheritance—her backstory is slowly revealed. By the book’s end, readers will discover her true motivation.

Weiner has a history of turning out lighthearted and romance-infused reads like Good In Bed and Best Friends Forever. Then Came You is something different for her, offering an eye-opening perspective on parenthood in an age where the family is ever evolving.

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Then Came You

Then Came You

By Jennifer Weiner
ISBN 9781451617726

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