Library Journal review, July 2007

Trueblood, Kathryn. The Baby Lottery. Permanent Pr. Jun. 2007. 249p. ISBN 978-1-57962-151-3. $28. F

Now in their late thirties, five college friends discover that past history can’t maintain their bonhomie, especially when their views and values strongly diverge. Nan is a delivery nurse in the local nonprofit hospital, whose husband and 16-year-old daughter from a teenage pregnancy tread on her efforts to keep the peace. Psychologist–turned–building manager Jean is now divorced, her husband having left when it became clear that she couldn’t conceive. College lecturer/writer Virginia is separated from her husband, with whom she shares custody of their eight-year-old son. PR staffer Tasi, single and childless, is having an affair with a married colleague. And overly dependent Charlotte faces a late-term abortion when she finally admits that her husband doesn’t want kids. Each woman takes center stage in alternating chapters that converge without necessarily overlapping. Trueblood (The Sperm Donor’s Daughter) draws blood as these friends confront the disappointment of their own choices as well as those of one another. Graphic in its depiction of obstetrical complications, this book presents a beautifully drawn yet harsh portrait of love in its varied permutations and how finding happiness really is a matter of chance. Highly recommended for literary fiction collections.—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal