Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Goodnight, Beautiful - Dorothy Koomson


Nova's eight year old son, Leo has been in an accident and lies in a coma. The real story, however, is how Leo even came to be. We soon discover that Nova never really bargained for a son. She was carrying a surrogate baby for her childhood friend, Mal and his wife. Close to the end of her pregnancy, they inexplicably changed their minds, literally leaving Nova holding the baby.

We go back further into Nova and Mal's 70s childhood together. They grow up together, but somehow never get the timing right to actually be together. Eventually they both meet other people. Mal falls in love with Stephanie, someone who is the exact opposite of Nova. They never see eye to eye but make the effort for Mal. Stephanie has problems of her own too. When they find they can't have children together Nova is the obvious choice for a surrogate for them.

Back in the present, Nova, who understandably has not spoken to Mal and Stephanie since they backed out of the surrogacy now has to bring Mal back into her life as it appears Leo isn't getting any better.

Unlike the other Dorothy Koomson books I've read this year, Goodnight, Beautiful: Everybody has secrets ... will this one break somebody's heart? (apparently the full title!) is much more firmly in the romance, tear jerker genre. I think Dorothy Koomson's early books were much more like this (very chick-lit) but her later ones have more of a dark side with murder, lies and intrigue. There's no deliberate deception and lies in Goodnight, Beautiful, it's more a victim of circumstance and unfortunate timing. It's still a good book - Nova is very likable and Mal is too, if not sometimes a bit of a wet weekend. I preferred the flashback story to the 'present' story. It's not really about the kid. There's a few other twists and surprises I haven't mentioned here too! 

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