Publishing year: 2015
This story starts in Dublin Maternity Hospital on August 13, 1985.
Vivienne has just had a baby boy, William. From her thoughts we know that she is a solicitor and her husband George works for an insurance company. They seem to be quite well off, and it seems that having a child is what she needed to do, but it is clear that Vivienne doesn’t embrace motherhood as she should. I have the feeling that she thinks her career is more important than her child, and she clearly doesn’t appreciate having her life disrupted. William is a good baby who cries little, but Vivienne is annoyed as she has been put in the common ward with other mothers even if she keeps demanding to be moved to a private ward.
Another character is twenty-one-year-old Catherine O’Neill. She is in Vivienne’s ward as she has had a baby girl. Her life couldn’t be more different to Vivienne’s. For Catherine, her baby girl, who in a sudden inspiration she has named Donna after Madonna, is her second child. She already has a two-year-old toddler, and her partner Del is in jail for armed robbery. Things were good when she and Del had their first child, but then they were both unemployed and living on social benefits. This second pregnancy wasn’t so welcomed as Del was in jail, and Catherine didn’t know she was going to look after two small children on her own and with no money.
I love the beginning of the book. I am curious. It is clear that for different reasons William and Donna are not going to have it easy at home because deep down their mothers don’t want them.