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  • By CAROL FALAKI
    Aug 30, 2015
    Birth in Suburbia By Carol Falaki Published by Lulu (2009) ISBN 978-1-4092-5214-6 Price £10.50 Review by Kim Thomas; New Digest, NCT professional, Edition 49 January 2010 (p19) National Childbirth Trust. Traditional advice to new authors is to write about what you know and Carol Falaki has certainly taken that to heart. A midwife for 19 years, and a mother of two, her novel Birth in Suburbia follows the lives of three friends in their journey from late pregnancy to giving birth. The three friends, Debbie, Helen and Liz, all residents of the fictional suburb of Wellonsey, find themselves in very different situations. Helen is happily married to Nigel. Debbie is married to Sean, but he seems distant and pre-occupied, and she worries that he is having an affair. Liz meanwhile, has split up with her partner, and moved back from London to Wellonsey to live with her parents. Falaki is obviously familiar with the concerns that women have in pregnancy -their fear of giving birth, their... More > worries about whether they will be able to breast-feed and their anxieties about relationships. She knows what pregnant women talk about, and offers a good account of the conflicting views about whether home birth is better than hospital birth. She is also excellent at showing the confusion women feel when confronted with so much contradictory advice. The author comes into her own when relating the very different birth experiences of the three women. Her descriptions of a home birth, a relatively straightforward hospital birth and a difficult hospital birth ending in an emergency Caesarean are realistic and packed with the kind of detail, both about the physical experience and the emotions of the women themselves that only an experienced midwife could convey. For antenatal teachers, these descriptions provide an excellent starting-point for a discussion of birth experiences, and the book as a whole does a great job of bringing into the open the often unspoken qualms of many pregnant women.< Less
  • By LK Gardner-Griffie
    Oct 15, 2009
    "Novel View of Birth - Part I" When this particular book was posted on the Pick Me! tab of the LL Book Review, I knew, being the only woman regular reviewer, if I didn't review it, the book would be declined. We keep a separate document with all of the review requests submitted where we, after reviewing the available information about the book, signify whether it is a selection we would like to review or not. Just for grins, after I added Birth in Suburbia to the list, I left it open to see how long it would take my fellow reviewers to place an N next to it. As soon as they looked at the list, they updated this selection as a No, and it was left to me to give it the final thumbs up or thumbs down. I went through my usual process of first reading the review request submission, then going to the product page and reading the preview available. When I read the preview for Birth in Suburbia, I was pleasantly surprised. Based on the write up, I knew this was a novel and not a... More > textbook, but was apprehensive about whether the author truly pulled this book off in novel format. The preview convinced me there was a story line and what I read was well written, so I asked for the book for review. I'm going to cover a couple of things that I feel hamper this book from being as good as it could be first, so then I can focus on what I liked about it. I'll be candid, I don't like the title. I feel that the title so limits the readership of the book that the author will lose some sales because of it. I'm not sure what I would call it, but I know I would take the word Birth out of the title, as that alone limits the appeal to expectant mothers. The same can be said for the book cover. Three pregnant women holding their bellies will appeal to expectant mothers and very few others. This may be the author's intent, in which case both the title and the cover should serve it well. The spacing of the book is double spaced and combined with the wide margins and large indents makes the book much longer in page length than it needs to be. Reformatting the book to widen the margins, decrease the indents, and changing to single spacing vs. double would significantly reduce the page length, and as a result, the base cost, which is something all POD authors need to be conscious of. By making those changes, the reduction in page length would allow the author a little more freedom with character development, which I felt was somewhat lacking. I believe Carol Falaki to be a good enough author to develop the characters well, but I had a sense as I read the book that some sacrifices were made to allow for detailed explanation of the birth process and to keep the page length down a bit. (Review continued in Part II)< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9781409252146
Edition
second edition
Publisher
CAROL FALAKI
Published
November 19, 2011
Language
English
Pages
295
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
1.11 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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