I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for this excellent novel. Moondance is the story of one couple's journey through IVF. Far from being a tale of misery, Diane Chandler has woven a tale full of emotion, humor, and gritty realism. Everyone knows what IVF is, but I imagine that very few people will actually experience what it is like to live through.
To begin with, Cat isn't a very likable character. She and her husband are high flying, career driven people and so it is hard when you know what the book is about, to imagine them as people that want to have a baby. Especially when Cat tries to organize having a baby around her work. But the humor and the emotion in this book kind of creeps up on you. The feelings of failure and the strain on their marriage teases out their humanity. For me, it felt like Diane Chandler was showing us that whoever we choose to be, we are all affected one way or another by our genetic need (or lack of) to procreate. When Cat is unable to conceive naturally, all her bravado, sass, and confidence were stripped back, and she felt defined by this 'failure.'
There are so many themes in this book that the author explores. Is having a baby the only way to fulfill our destiny? Does not being able to have one make us a failure? When do you know that you truly want a child - not just the idea of having a child. I (personally) feel that some people only have children because we have been indoctrinated with this idealist picture that everyone should strive to achieve: get married, settle down and have kids. Although, I do think the importance of having a child has lessened in this day and age. I know many women that just don't want to have a child. They have found other things in life that have made them content. So I found this book fascinating because it presents a modern, realistic representation of having children in this era. With science rapidly changing the way that we live, Diane Chandler gives us a first-hand look at how exactly it can do that.
I didn't know anything about IVF before reading this book. I don't have children, and I have wondered what would happen if I couldn't have them naturally. I have no doubt that this book could be somebodies reality. I feel that if I ever had to consider IVF I would be emotionally more prepared for the journey having read this book. It is a wonderful and at times heartbreaking, exploration of a subject that not many people talk about. It gets you thinking and involved in the debate about procreation. I really really enjoyed this book, and I'm not surprised that Diane Chandler has won an award for her writing.
Because of the kindness of Diane Chandler and her publisher, the first three people to comment the answer to the following will win a free digital copy of this book:
What was the name of Diane Chandler's first novel which won her 'The People's Book Prize for fiction 2015/16'?