A MODERN BIRTHIn midwife and author Carol Falaki’s own words “It’s amazing to be able to support the woman in labour and words can’t describe the first time you feel the warm head of a living infant as he emerges into the world the moment before birth.” In her aptly titled new novel, A Modern Birth, Falaki takes her best shot at using words to describe just such an experience. Drawing on her almost 20 years of midwifery experience, Falaki manages to craft a moving novel about three pregnant friends and their relationships with each other, their friends and family, and their unborn children.

Under Falaki’s careful pen, A Modern Birth plays out like a quick-witted more mature episode of Sex and the City, except in this episode all the characters are British… and pregnant. With witty banter and emotional relationships, readers will find themselves quickly drawn into the story.

Each of the main heroines are distinct and well fleshed out, allowing readers to easily relate to the characters in realistic terms. Debbie is concerned about her relationship with her husband Sean. With the birth of their child approaching, he’s become more and more distant. Is he seeing another woman? Has he grown tired of her? Helen is overdue and becoming increasingly nervous about her pregnancy, considering that her mother had trouble with her first pregnancy. Liz, recently free of her emotionally abusive partner, has decided on a home birth, but the closer the date gets, the more nervous she becomes about her decision. Meanwhile Chrissie, a single mother for several years, has finally met what could be the man of her dreams.

Although A Modern Birth is filled with information about pregnancy and labor, the story drives the novel so well that it never feels like a data-laden textbook on pregnancy. Falaki strategically places helpful tidbits of information throughout the story, never forcing the plot or turning the narrative into a field manual.  The story slowly builds and culminates with all three women going into labor within a 24-hour period, expertly tied together by a midwifery student named Gemma travelling to each birth and learning new things along the way. Each pregnancy and labor is very different and well-described: a cesarean section in a hospital bed, a natural home birth on a futon, and an uncomplicated hospital delivery in a more interesting position. Expectant mothers may well find plenty of information on what to expect by reading this entertaining novel, rather than slogging through a more straight-forward nonfiction text.

The only drawback here is that the novel is quite filled with grammatical errors. Considering that this was independently published on Lulu.com, it’s understandable and although it does sometimes get a bit distracting, the story is compelling enough to make it little more than a nuisance. Falaki’s writing style is surprisingly entertaining and decidedly British. Her unique voice is a breath of fresh air to the independent publishing scene and even to the literary world in general. With a proper editor and a publishing company supporting it, A Modern Birth has the potential to draw in a large group of readers. And with such a solid story involving a vibrant cast of characters and Hollywood’s current obsession with pregnancy, A Modern Birth is ripe for a film interpretation. It might be a chick-flick, but this guy would definitely be standing in line for it.

To purchase A Modern Birth, vist Amazon 
To download a copy of the book, or to purchase it at a slightly lower price, visit Lulu.com

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