It all begins with a fantasy...
A caseworker in her "paperwork-signing" suit alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn: this is the blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of Portland's Chosen Child domestic adoption program, happy as she juggles the demands of her boss and the incessant needs of adoptive and biological parents.
But the dream job that offers Chloe refuge from her turbulent personal life soon becomes a nightmare involving three very different couples: the college sweethearts who, after suffering fertility problems, are now expecting their own baby; the wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and the couple who has nothing - except the baby everyone wants. But when a child goes missing, perceptions of family and future are challenged, posing the questions: What happens when you get what you thought you wanted? How far would go if it wasn't what you wanted after all?
I'm not very familiar with the adoption process, so to say this book opened my eyes would be an understatement. This book focused on every aspect of the adoption process, from the high costs to the emotional struggles that the biological and adoptive parents both endure as they become further enmeshed in each other's lives, along with the realization that the idea of a baby is vastly different from the reality of having a baby become a part of your life and family.
Solid and engaging, this story does tug at your heart strings and brings you along the journeys of three couples as they attempt to discover what "family" means to them. We have the couple who is giving up their baby and wanting the adoptive family to provide financial support to them; another couple who have tried fertility treatments to start a family, but have been unsuccessful with the results and so have opted for adoption; and the third couple, who have finally had a baby of their own after being rejected as prospective adoptive parents. Along with the couples, we have Chloe, the caseworker dealing with the drama from her latest adoption case, who is also trying to figure out her life and relationship issues. Definitely enough characters to make for a page-turning read. As for the characters themselves, they are not as fleshed out as I would have enjoyed and truthfully it would have been nice to learn more about Chloe. However, I do recognize that the book's main purpose was to focus on the adoption process and not just the caseworker's personal life.
Overall, the book was a good read. Its not my usual choice of reading fare, but it was definitely interesting. My only gripe was that the use of alternating chapters to tell us the story from each character's perspective was disappointing. Instead of aiding the flow of the story, it made following the story a bit difficult at times. Oh, and just so you know, none of the characters are truly likable (except for Chloe I suppose), which doesn't bother me when reading a book (but I figured you should know in case you don't like reading books about unlikable characters). I suppose I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading about the adoption process and anyone else looking for a good, solid read on a rainy day.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book!