Sunday, 12 May 2019

Review ~ The Swap by Fiona Mitchell


The Swap
Hodder&Stoughton
18 April 2019

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book


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.

My thoughts..

Every parent's worst nightmare is the basis for this complex family drama which looks at what happens when two women are given the wrong fertilised egg during an IVF procedure.

The heart break and soul searching of such a complex issue is dealt with in a very readable way and I found that I had immense sympathy for both families, and especially of the psychological effects of the swap, on both Tess and Annie, the two mothers who only want what's best for their child - but, the question is, of course, whose child is whose, and therein lies the dilemma.

As a parent I can't begin to imagine the absolute terror that such a mistake would have on a family but the author very quickly gets into the emotional heart of the story and even though both families are very different in terms of nationality, one UK based, the other in Florida US, and with different financial security, one richer, one poorer, there is still that raw sense of disbelief when they realise that their children are not their children, Willow and Freddie, now three years old, are not who they thought they were.

The Swap is, by any stretch of the imagination, a really emotional story. It tugs away at your heartstrings, and I found myself contemplating over and over what would I have done in the same situation, and the truthful answer is I really don't know, and that's where the strength of this novel lies, in that it perfectly describes the doubts, the fears and the absolute scary moments of an ultimate nightmare and also reiterates the vulnerability and the sometimes awful unpredictability of trusting science over nature.





Fiona Mitchell is an award-winning writer and has worked as a journalist for many years. She spent almost three years living in Singapore and now lives in London with her husband and daughter.

Twitter@FionaMoMitchell #TheSwap

@HodderBooks



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