When I read a review from a fellow book blogger about The Swap by Fiona Mitchell I knew I had to read it, and I’m really pleased that I did!
I received a copy of The Swap by Fiona Mitchell from publishers Hodder & Staughton. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
I’m sure that a lot of people have wondered about mistakes made by fertility clinics, how often they happen and what the consequences of that. And while there are strict protocols in place to prevent any mistakes from happening, we all know that human error happens.
Mixing up the embryos of two patients with the same surname is pretty much as bad as it gets. Both resulted in a live birth, one family had a boy and the other a girl.
I have to admit that I am fascinated by whether a baby knows that they weren’t wanted, were the wrong sex (to what their parents wanted) or born into something else that isn’t quite right. I firmly believe that the baby often picks up on something that follows them through to childhood and beyond, leaving them with a sense of shame about themselves.
But would a mother know that the child they birthed wasn’t their child? And if so, would finding out that they were right, and the baby wasn’t theirs, provide relief?
It’s all very interesting and reading The Swap by Fiona Mitchell really got me thinking more about a lot of it. It’s a nightmare situation that no parent would ever wish to be in. I felt the author dealt with the subject matter beautifully, it wasn’t overly dramatic, it was realistic and felt entirely possible.
The characters were flawed and not always likeable, but they were believable and I enjoyed reading about them. The book took the characters on a real journey and I kept reading, desperate to know what was going to happen and whether there could be any resolution that would work for either family involved.
If you enjoy reading family dramas then this is a book for you. But, I think The Swap will appeal to many readers. Given the subject matter it won’t be easy reading for some but it will make you think.
***The second novel from Fiona Mitchell, author of the stunning The Maid’s Room***
Two women. Two children. But whose is whose?
When two strangers, Tess and Annie, undergo IVF at an American clinic, their embryos are mixed up and each woman gives birth to the wrong child.
The women only discover the devastating error three years later. Tess wants to swap the children back; Annie doesn’t. As the pair wrangle, neither of them expect what unfolds.
About The Author:
I’m the author of two books published by Hodder & Stoughton. My second novel, The Swap, has just been published in eBook and hardback. My debut novel, The Maid’s Room, has been published internationally as well as being translated into five languages.
I started writing fiction in 2011, but writing has been part of my life for years, first as a journalist on newspapers and a news agency, then as a features editor on women’s magazines. Before all that, I read English Literature at the University of Sussex.
Journalism fed my urge to write, but whenever I went on holiday, out the notebook came and I’d start planning a novel – a different one every time. I ended up crumpling all of these ideas into the bin.
It was only when I moved to Singapore where I noticed the challenges facing domestic helpers there that I started to write a novel. This time I didn’t give up. The result was The Maid’s Room.
The Swap is about two women who undergo IVF only to discover three years later that their embryos were inadvertently mixed up and they have each given birth to the wrong child. One of the women wants to swap the children back, the other doesn’t.
At the moment, I am working on my third book. I am also an editor for the Blue Pencil Agency, as well as being a reader and editor for a number of leading literary agents.
I’m a cheerleader for struggling writers too. I had stacks of rejections before my wonderful agent Rowan Lawton took me on. So if you’ve just received yet another rejection from a literary agent, hopefully you’ll find lots here to inspire you and help you carry on writing.