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Labour of Love: A Story of Generosity, Hope and Surrogacy (Shannon Garner, S&S)

With two children of her own and positive birth experiences, Shannon Garner felt the urge to help others and found a gay couple, Jon and Justin, who needed a surrogate. What follows is a detailed account of the planning, the pregnancy, with its high and lows (particularly morning sickness and the impact on her relationship), the birth (induced due to concerns about the baby) and the afterglow. This intimate retelling flows effortlessly, with the impending birth and handover of the baby propelling the narrative. Just as Garner opened her heart to Jon and Justin, she does so to her reader, confiding her thoughts, fears, hopes and connections with the people around her. Criticisms (too much trivial detail, clichéd dialogue, a bit too good to be true) aside, the overwhelming thread is the gift of giving and the joining together of new family and friends. It gives hope to humanity that people like Garner exist. This book’s market is not just those interested in pregnancy, birth, surrogacy and fertility, but readers of life stories, in particular one marked by selflessness, courage and generosity. Effective media coverage will help it find
its audience.

Joanne Shiells was formerly a retail book buyer and an editor of Books+Publishing


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