Today I hand back over to Mandie who has a review of Bye Baby Bunting by Tannis Laidlaw as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting us to join the tour and to the publisher for providing a copy of the book for review. Here is what it is all about.
About the Book
An unwanted pregnancy. A kidnapping. Escape…
University student Jemma Howell’s life has turned upside down: she’s pregnant and her boyfriend has just died.
A lawyer manipulates Jemma to sign away the child to her dead boyfriend’s parents, the wealthy Winchesters.
Six months after giving birth, Jemma is still obsessed with her baby’s welfare. A chance opportunity occurs. She makes a split-second decision.
She is now a kidnapper and on the run. Detective Constable Tim Findlay is assigned to the Winchester kidnapping, his first big case.
In the course of the investigation, he and his partner uncover deeply hidden secrets about the Winchester family.
For Tim, the difference between right and wrong becomes blurred.
BYE BABY BUNTING is a page-turning psychological suspense that explores society’s attitudes to single parenting and adoption and the laws that apply to birth-mother, child and adoptive parents. The story takes place in Auckland, New Zealand, Hawaii and Winnipeg, Canada between 1963 and the present.
Jemma finds herself pregnant and unmarried after the sudden death of her boyfriend Barry, which in 1963 was still very much frowned upon. Shunned by his parents and too scared to admit her condition to her mother, she believes that she has no other option than to put her baby up for adoption. Initially she goes through the traditional adoption agency route until the baby’s grandparents decide they want to adopt the child on the condition that Jemma has nothing to do with the baby once it is born. Everything goes to plan until she feels the need to see her baby one more time before she goes back home to England.
This is certainly a book that could challenge your sense of what is right in the eyes of the law and what is right in the eyes of the birth mother. I am not sure that the events that take place would be able to happen quite so easily these days as there are more checks that have to happen. Jemma was probably dealing with a combination of grief and post-natal depression that caused her to act the way that she did. But this was the 60’s and things were a lot different. Unwed mothers were not so accepted and they were often persuaded that adoption was the best option. Technology was also not available making it far easier to falsify documents and travel around. Jemma certainly feels that she is right in what she is doing, so much so she manages to convince her roommate to help in her plans.
With Bye Baby Bunting Tannis Laidlaw has created a book where you are actually rooting for the ones breaking the law. After the initial feeling that Jemma is doing the wrong thing you can kind of understand why she does what she does as the pull of being a mother becomes too much. I think for me the only thing I couldn’t quite believe were the actions of her housemate but that being said it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book and I couldn’t put it down until I knew what happened in the end.
If you’d like a copy of the book for yourself then it is available here.
About the Author
Dr Tannis Laidlaw has worn many hats in her career as a psychologist: clinician in private practice, in psychiatric bins and in the prison service; researcher in schizophrenia, anxiety, psychopathy and other personality disorders, mind-body interactions, and the therapeutic use of hypnosis; research manager; writer and lecturer.
She has always been fascinated by the human condition, not only in those with crossed wiring but also when ordinary people are driven to behave in extraordinary ways. Her fiction reflects her psychological background; her non-fiction, her interests as a wife, mother and friend.
Tannis lives with her husband in Auckland, but spends half her time at a deserted beach in Northland, the semi-tropical northern part of New Zealand, and in a remote cabin in the woods on a Canadian lake – all places where she writes and writes and writes.
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