The Cradle Snatcher – Tess Stimson
Tess Stimson is a woman that, perhaps surprisingly, I’d never heard of. According to the press release in front of me, she’s written five previous novels in this genre, and I don’t recall seeing, let alone reading, any of them. However, The Cradle Snatcher made its way into my hands. I came, I saw, I conquered. And very good it was too.
Main character Clare Elias has always known that she was running a risk by marrying a handsome man so much younger than herself. In the beginning, though, it didn’t appear to bother Marc that his wife was earning more than him, running her own very successful florist business whilst he slogged away in banks. However, things change for the happy couple when Clare gives birth to twins. Thinking she’ll cope with the babies the same as she copes with everything else – with complete efficiency, nobody is worried about Clare’s state of mind. Until the twins actually come along, that is.
After giving birth to babies on the street, things go from bad to worse when one of the children is taken ill, along with Clare. Clare is in one hospital, one of her babies in another, and the other child at home with its father. So when everyone finally gets together at home, over the worst, everything should have worked out. But Clare soon comes to realise that she can’t actually cope. One child is as good as gold, the other, not so good. And when the worse one upsets the better one… Clare’s life becomes one long stream of screaming, nappies, cleaning up sick and breastfeeding. Feeling more and more depressed, Clare gives in and hires a nanny.
Jenna bounds in and takes over, making motherhood look a breeze, and Clare feel more inadequate than ever. However, as time passes and things start to calm down, Clare gets used to looking after children. But just as one area of her life appears to be calming down, all the others are in severe danger of crashing down around her ears. Somehow, she must emerge from the other side unscathed… easier said than done.
This wasn’t a bad book. On the one hand, I liked the multiple viewpoints because it gave you an understanding of what all the characters were thinking. But this was also a downside because it means you didn’t get an in-depth knowledge of any one person’s viewpoint. But it balances out. There’s plenty of action: blood, sweat and tears. And some sex thrown in there for good measure. For saying this novel covers many bases with its plot and various subplots, it still ties together really nicely and comes to a satisfactory ending. My personal opinion, though, is that it could have been more powerful had it been told from a single, or possibly duel viewpoints.
Regardless, if you like chick-lit, this is a perfectly pleasant way to spend some time chilling out. I’ll be looking out for Tess’ other novels too.