Meet The Baby Group: Natalie ran her own design company until baby Freddie unexpectedly came along. Now the capable person she once was is trapped inside a crazy woman’s body, longing for just one decent night’s sleep and words of more than one syllable. Meg is onto her fourth child but still feels she has to take notes. Meg’s sister-in-law Frances organises her little boy like he’s a private in the army, but underneath her prickly facade she longs for the kind of friendships others seem to find so easy. Former career girl Jess sees danger lurking in every corner, doubting she’ll ever be a good mother. Stay-at-home house-husband Steve is just glad to have the opportunity to spend time with his daughter. And sixteen-year-old Tiffany is the youngest – yet possibly the wisest – of them all.
Six very different parents. Six very different lives. But when Natalie’s dodgy wiring leads to a series of chance encounters, they rapidly discover – through Baby Music, Baby Aerobics, coffee and more importantly cake – that there’s safety in numbers. And their own unofficial baby group is formed.
I’m not going to go into any great detail with regards to the actual plotline of this book because in all honesty the above synopsis does in fact give a very good and accurate description of it so I don’t really feel the need to repeat any of it here.
I will however say that although The Baby Group does supposedly have six main characters whose lives we periodically follow throughout the book it does in fact primarily focus on that of Natalie and the story is told mostly from her point of view. Saying that we do get a bit of an insight into the lives of Meg, Jess and Tiffany however unfortunately the same can’t be said for that of Frances and Steve – neither of whom are featured all that heavily and seem to be there for no other reason than to add a couple of extra members to the group. I did find this a little disappointing especially with regards to Steve. As the only male member of the group it would have been nice to get a little bit more of an insight into his life as a stay-at-home father however I’m sure the author had her reasons for not focusing on him more than she did, I just can’t figure out what those reasons were.
Although I personally have decided to place this book under the chick lit label, it is however a little bit more than just your average stereotypical chick lit book, mainly because it has a bit more substance to it. I did however find some aspects of it a little bit too hard to believe, in particular the circumstances surrounding the initial meeting between Natalie and Jack. I don’t know any woman who would do what she did and swan off for a romantic weekend in Venice with a man she met that very same day. Even now after having finishing the book and understanding Jack’s reasons for doing so, from Natalie’s point of view I still find it a little bit hard to swallow but maybe that’s just me.
I also have to admit to finding the ending a little bit too fairytale like for my liking, however it did tie up a few loose ends and everyone seemed to get the happy ending I was so hoping they would do, so I suppose I can’t really complain.
Overall this is a very easy book to get into and the words and story flow at a very steady pace. With laugh-out-loud moments interspersed with the occasional teary eyed one you can’t help but grow to love the characters and by the last page I was almost sorry to have to say goodbye to them.