Genre: Psychological Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Medical Fiction
By | Jessie Woo
This domestic fiction Not My Daughter, by Kate Hewitt, talks about the life and friendship between two women in their 30s: Milly and Anna. The chapters alternate between Milly and Anna’s point of view, giving the readers a glimpse into their thoughts, feelings and perspectives, and how it affects every event that occurs in their lives.
Milly, is a 34-year-old woman who struggles with infertility, which is detailed at the beginning of the book. She becomes desperate to have a child with her husband, Matt; but all she feels is hopelessness as the doctors continue to tell her that she is unable to conceive.
That is, until Milly’s best friend of many years, Anna, offers to donate an egg to Milly to help her fulfill her dreams of having a child. Matt’s brother, Jack, also supports them by donating as well. All seems to be going well until Milly’s baby, Alice, was born. No one is prepared for the whirlwind of emotions they are about to face, and what is to come, especially when Alice later receives a devastating diagnosis that shakes Milly’s world and everyone involved.
The key theme of Not My Daughter is motherhood and related elements, such as infertility, postpartum depression, IVF, and loss. But this is also a story about friendship. With Milly and Anna embarking on this journey to becoming a mother, we see the ups and downs that these two women go through together as they face emotions of joy, frustration and heartbreak, as well as battling past traumas.
I think this book also reminded me of an important part of friendship: listening to each other. We all have moments where we have life-changing moments or something big is going to happen. Friends and family often check up on you and give you all the support they have. The attention is on you and many of us end up just thinking about ourselves and we forget about the support.
All you can do is talk about yourself, and you end up forgetting to listen to your friends and family. This critical portion of Anna and Milly’s friendship made me reflect on this similar mistake of forgetting to be there and listen to my friends, just as they did to me in my life.
Overall, I believe that this book is for those that are looking for a story that touches on the subject of friendship and the ups and downs that goes along with it. This is an emotional and heartfelt story that captures the journey of infertility that many women struggle with in this present world, as well as the joys and uncertainties that come with motherhood.