Book Review: Swaying*

5:00:00 PM

A couple months ago, I wrote a post titled "Guess What! ... I'm Writing a Book! + a Writing Challenge" In that post, I talked a little bit about Camp NaNoWriMo.

I can honestly say, I wasn't sure how the writing retreat was going to go but I'm so glad that I signed up! I met some wonderful ladies in my cabin and one of them even sent me her book!

Lucinda Blanchard and I exchanged a few messages in the group chat during our time at Camp NaNoWriMo, and those conversations eventually moved over to emails. Since I had never participated in the camp before, I wasn't really sure what would happen with our cabins after the camp session was over. Update: Cabins disappear! 

As Lucinda and I got to know each other, we shared writing tips and even swapped a few chapters. Joining Camp NaNoWriMo was probably the best decision I have ever made for my writing career! The other authors have been wonderful in helping me with my writing and they've even sent over their own books for review on my blog!

I knew I wanted to read Swaying as soon as Lucinda described her book to the group. I had never heard of anything like it before so, of course, it intrigued me!

Synopsis:
Charlotte has one desire in life - she wants a daughter. But you can't choose what you have... can you?

Desire soon turns to obsession as Charlotte embarks on a difficult and controversial journey to sway the odds to have a girl.

How far is she prepared to go, and at what cost?

Review:
I can't exactly pinpoint what exactly it was that intrigued me about Swaying, but I was intrigued nonetheless. If you've read any of my other book reviews, then you know that this isn't my usual genre. However, I really did want to read this book. Not only because it was written by an author I've now gotten to know, but also because it was on a topic that I'd never heard of.

To be honest, I had no idea that "swaying" was even a thing, or that there were people that genuinely dealt with gender disappointment. I think in that sense, this book was very well researched and educational.

I saw that some of the other readers thought that they would have trouble connecting with the characters, if they didn't have children themselves. However, that was not the case for me. I grew up wanting children, but I've learned with each diagnosis that it might just not be in the cards for me right now. I was able to connect with some of the characters in the form of emotions rather than actual circumstances.

I actually think that since I've begun coming to terms with the possibility of not having children, I was able to connect with Rose a lot too. I agreed with a lot of the points that she made throughout the book and I very much liked her character. I also envied her for the time she got to spend with her horses, I always wanted a horse...or twelve.

In the beginning of the book, I really didn't like Bella. I began leaning towards Ian's opinion of her, but then I didn't like him very much either. All of a sudden things reversed. I started understanding Bella more and liking Ian less. Although I haven't been through Bella's trials or agree with some of the decisions that she made, I understand the reasons she made them and the emotions behind them. I don't want to say any spoilers, but she and I struggled with similar things.

On the topic of the books beginning, I was very confused when I started reading the book. I don't know if it was from one of my previous conversations with Lucinda or something I read earlier, but I thought the book started later in the main characters life. I didn't think that it would span over the course of a few years. However, that could also be my preferred genre sneaking in. Most of the books that I read are turned into trilogies or even longer series. So just know that this book does span over a long length of time, of course it doesn't feel that way though!

If you didn't know, Lucinda lives in the United Kingdom. I didn't think that I would have any trouble reading this book as we speak the same language, but I did notice a lot of differences in our terms and style of writing. I actually have an iPhone screen page of words and phrases that we either don't use in the U.S. or they mean something else here. It was pretty easy to figure out what they meant with the help of context clues, but there were a couple that had me stuck!

As for the style differences, I think those are just the different ways that we use certain words in our sentence structure. I also noticed that Lucinda uses single quotation marks while most of the authors that I read use double quotation marks; and she chooses not to use serial commas. Of course, those are her style choices and they are 100% up to her. These style choices do not add or take away anything from the actual content of the book, but I like to review all aspects of each book :)

As I mentioned earlier, this book seemed to be very well researched. While I did not double check the proper procedures, it really did feel like you were along for the ride. You felt the emotions of the characters in the book and you experienced their highs and lows with them. There were a lot of doctors appointments and swaying tasks, but I never felt lost. This is particularly important since I don't have any children, nor have I ever been pregnant. Lucinda writes in a way that is both informative as well as easy to understand.

Usually when I pick up a book on a new topic, I have trouble reading it quickly. My brain has to process it as it would a text book; it needs to soak in the information slowly and let it marinate like a steak. However, that wasn't the case with Swaying. I actually finished this book in just four sittings, it was just a matter of finding the time to actually sit down and read the book. Lucinda has a great way with words and she really drew me in!

The only thing that I found a little bit disappointing with Swaying was a certain amount of predictability. I don't want to give away any big spoilers, but there were definitely a few pieces of the story that I saw coming. However, I'd also like to take a moment to point out that there were some interesting plot pieces that I didn't not see coming whatsoever!

Overall, Lucinda did a wonderful job with her debut novel. I would definitely recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about swaying or having children in general. I do recommend that you do not read this book if you find that you have a lot of emotional triggers. I know that there are a few controversial topics that could be upsetting to some readers. If you are interested in reading the book but want to double check if it's right for you, feel free to email me with any questions or concerns that you might have!

If you want to follow up with the author or purchase a copy of the book, please follow the these links: 

Have you read Swaying? I would love to hear what you thought about it in the comments!

* This book was provided by the author in exchange for a review. However, all opinions and comments in this review are 100% my own. *

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I'll receive some type of commission. For more information, you can read our full disclosure here. *


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