Some stories need to be read through squinted eyes. That's the only way
that the plot can be palatable, the only way to overlook its disassociation
from reality. In other words, if the scenario depicted in this story
happened in real life, it'd be too weird to be believed.
At the reading of his late wife's will, Alex Chandler is surprised at her
first request. His late wife Tamara wants Alex and his sister-in-law,
Tammy's sister Dena, to cease their animosity. Alex is surprised to know
that his wife knew of his dislike for Dena, a dislike he'd tried to hide.
He finds Dena just too different, a far cry from his lovely, gracious wife.
The second request is even stranger. "I request that Dena act as
surrogate mother and carry to term one of my embryos, fertilized by
And that, my friends, is the gist of the story. Dena and Alex are going to
acquiesce to Tamara's last wishes. Dena will be a surrogate mother and hand
the baby over to Alex to raise as a single father. Yeah, and I'm the Queen
What gives the story its impetus is how Dena and Alex do overcome their
animosity. As they spend time together, they develop an understanding, an
appreciation of the other. This part is quite natural and believable but
all the while I'm remembering their reason for being together. It seems to
be a bizarre way to play matchmaker.
Sue Swift mentions at the back of the book that she's taken numerous
liberties with the in vitro fertilization process. She also warns readers
not to rely on the book for medical advice. I appreciate that warning, but
would seriously question someone's gray matter if they do rely on a piece
of fiction for advice. That's what makes fiction so much fun. We can read
stories where the nearly impossible is made to look easy.
However, what isn't made to look easy and therefore isn't believable are
the character's motivations, which are sketchy. We never sense that Alex
really wants a child. It's not as though this is his only chance to be a
His Baby, Her Heart is such an apt title. I like the way it
encompasses a wide spectrum of emotions regarding surrogate motherhood in
only four words. There's no mistaking that this is anything but a baby
book. In addition to carrying Alex's baby, Dena has twins from a louse of
an ex-husband. So short people abound.
While this story didn't appeal to me personally, it doesn't mean that
others won't be touched by its story line. If surrogate motherhood and a
couple who have a lot of misconceptions to overcome sound interesting, then
this story will likely hit the spot.