Name: Bye Baby Bunting by Tannis Laidlaw
Date Published: June 25, 2012
Goodreads Rating: 4.15/5 Stars
How I acquired it: I received an ebook copy of this book from the author via Books n All Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinions below.
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 has Jemma sign away the child to her dead boyfriend’s parents, the wealthy Winchesters. Some 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 of the Winchester family. For Tim, the difference between right and wrong becomes blurred. BYE BABY BUNTING is a page-turning psychological thriller 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.
Reading Level: ★★★
My Overall Rating: ★★★
I loved how this story was written in Jemma’s, Tim’s (the detective). Graeme and eventually Penny’s POV. It definitely gave an overall perspective of what was happening. However, at times the writing felt forced. I think it would have been more exciting and thrilling if we didn’t have the prelude. It took away from the story knowing Penny was in fact Penny at the end of the story.
The story starts out in the 60’s when Jemma Howell finds out she is pregnant and her boyfriend (the baby’s father) is dead. She’s in the process of giving the baby up for adoption when the boyfriend’s parents offer to take the baby. The grandparents adopted the baby and forced Jemma out of their lives. Unable to move on, Jemma kidnaps the baby. The story is about her fight to keep her daughter and fleeing from New Zealand to Canada. The story line was truly unique and it showed how different adoptions were in the 60’s vs. what they are now. I think it could have been better if the author didn’t have so many details of the escape. There were definitely parts where it didn’t seem realistic to me.
I’m all for a guy being in love with a girl who thinks of him only as a friend. It’s a common story and romance that eventually blossoms into a full relationship. However, Jemma was constantly second guessing her decision to be with Graeme. It felt very forced and then
after they had sex all-of-a-sudden she loved him and was happy with their arrangement.
There was a point in the book that jumped months and then years within the same paragraph (possibly in the same sentence). Usually new chapters are created for this to flow correctly. I was able to follow it however; I had to reread the paragraph several times to make sure I didn’t miss anything. This brings me to the end of the book. I have to admit, the ending of the book didn’t really make sense to me. It’s hard to explain without going into detail and I don’t want to spoil anything. Mostly there were people who were confused at one point in the book but the ending contradicts their confusion. (Yes, I know very helpful and not at all confusing.)