Thanks so much for having me here! I’m really pleased to be sharing my new women’s fiction with you.
This Fragile Life is a story of two very different friends: Martha, who is career-driven, high maintenance, and a little bit cold, and Alex, a laid-back aspiring artist who is happy to just let life drift by. At least, that is who they are on the surface. But when Alex becomes unexpectedly pregnant, and Martha, who has been struggling with infertility for years, suggests she adopt the baby, everything changes—including the way these women interact with each other.
I wrote This Fragile Life in alternating points of view, and I was surprised at how quickly and easily Martha and Alex’s voices came to me. I felt as if I knew them, as if they were telling me their stories themselves. And I was also surprised at how much I felt for both of them and the choices they have to make. Here are two excerpts from both Martha and Alex to give you an idea of their voices:
It's past eleven by the time I finally get back to my apartment, and I see it all through this new lens of quasi-motherhood, these critical and despairing eyes I don't like. It's one little room, about fifteen feet by ten, with a tiny sink, a two-burner stove, and a mini fridge tucked in one corner. The bathroom holds a shower stall and toilet, no sink, and besides the futon, a table, and a bookcase I have no real furniture. I keep my clothes in a jumble of plastic crates stacked on top of one another.
I sink onto my futon, and I no longer have the strength not to think about it. Not to realize how ridiculous and impossible and stupid this all is, to contemplate for one second the possibility of actually having this baby. Of being a mother.
I don’t even want a baby, do I? I’m pretty sure I don’t. Yet this isn’t even about want; it’s about something deeper, something fundamental and biological. This might be my last chance. My last chance for a life I never even wanted before.
Alex is pregnant. It beats like a bass drum through my mind, giving me a headache. Alex is pregnant. I count the symptoms silently, the throwing up being the most obvious one of all. She took one look at that fish and heaved. But there were others, I think as I lie in bed next to Rob that night. She looked pale, drawn. She put all the blue cheese in her salad to one side. She seemed a little dizzy when she stood up. She's pregnant.
I haven't told Rob my suspicions, and I don't intend to, not yet. He’d probably be happy for her, the way he’s happy for everybody, and her fertility would highlight my own failure as a wife, a woman.
I am furious that I can’t get pregnant after six years of trying and Alex can just fall into it. It’s probably a mistake. Alex isn't seeing anyone as far as I know, and her life isn't exactly set up for a baby. I can’t imagine her as a mother.
And then I realize that maybe, probably she won't have it. She might be what, seven, eight weeks? She could still have an abortion. She probably will have an abortion.
And I feel a chill enter my soul, a terror I don't understand. I know, on a purely analytical level, that what Alex does with her pregnancy has no bearing on my life. Yet I can't escape this inexplicable fear that slips coldly through me, that somehow her ending this pregnancy will end something for me.
It's absurd, because everything's already ended for me.
I feel Rob's hand rub my back, sleepy, half-hearted. "You okay?" he asks, and I wonder why he is asking. Am I tense, can he feel it? He’s been so careful with me since the last IVF attempt, and I felt like we were moving on. Just a little, but my soul was healing.
Now everything feels ripped open and raw.
What do you think of Martha and Alex? Do you enjoy reading books with more than one point of view? Do you find it enriches the story, or can it be confusing? Leave a comment and one person will win one of my Harlequin Presents and a $15 Amazon gift card!
This Fragile Life:
You love your best friend. You trust her with your life. But could you give her the most precious gift of all? Alex’s life is a mess. She’s barely holding down a job, only just affording her apartment, and can’t remember when she was last in a relationship. An unexpected pregnancy is the last thing she needs. Martha’s life is on track. She’s got the highflying career, the gorgeous home and the loving husband. But one big thing is missing. Five rounds of IVF and still no baby. The solution seems simple. Alex knows that Martha can give her child everything that she can’t provide. But Martha’s world may not be as perfect as it seems, and letting go isn’t as easy as Alex expected it to be. Now they face a decision that could shatter their friendship forever.
Where To Find This Fragile Life:
Kate's website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/
Be sure to leave a comment to enter Kate's contest here!