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Baby Proof [Paperback]

Emily Giffin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15, 2007

A novel that explores the question: Is there ever a deal-breaker when it comes to true love?

Claudia Parr has everything going for her. A successful editor at a publishing house in Manhattan, she's also a devoted sister, aunt, and friend. Yet she's never wanted to become a mother--which she discovers is a major hurdle to marriage, something she desperately wants. Then she meets her soul mate Ben who, miraculously, feels the same way about parenthood. The two fall in love and marry, committed to one another and their life of adventure and discovery. All's well until one of them has a change of heart. Someone wants a baby after all.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things and there is no compromise. It's about deciding what is most important in life and wagering everything to get it. And most of all, it's about the things we will--and won't--do for love.


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The bestselling author of Something Borrowed and Something Blue now tells the story of what happens after the "I do"s. As a successful editor at a Manhattan publishing house, Claudia Parr counts herself fortunate to meet and marry Ben, a man who claims to be a nonbreeding career-firster like she is. The couple's early married years go smoothly, but then Ben's biological clock starts to tick. A baby's a deal breaker for Claudia, so she moves out and bunks with her college roommate Jess (a 35-year-old blonde goddess stuck in a series of dead-end relationships) while the wheels of divorce crank into action. Even after the divorce is finalized and Claudia embarks on a steamy love affair with her colleague Richard, she begins to doubt her decision when she suspects Ben has found a smart, young and beautiful woman willing to bear his children. Standard fare as far as chick lit goes, but there are strong subplots involving Claudia's sisters (one is coping with infertility, the other with a cheating spouse) and the childless-by-choice plot line produces above-average tension. 300,000 announced first printing. (June 13)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Giffin has made a name for herself with unconventional, extremely popular chick-lit novels that place her heroines in difficult situations; both Something Borrowed (2004) and Something Blue (2005) were surprising and defied the norm. Her third offering places 35-year-old Claudia in an untenable position. When Claudia married Ben, both agreed that they didn't want children. Suddenly, Ben has changed his mind, and he starts pressuring Claudia to reconsider as well. Claudia is resolute--she has never wanted children and is certain she never will. When both she and Ben stick to their guns, it drives a wedge into their relationship, until a big argument over the issue drives Claudia from their apartment. Suddenly, it seems their marriage is over, and Claudia sorrowfully consents to a divorce even though she still loves Ben. Months later, Claudia is still having regrets, and even when she starts dating a handsome, slick publicist, she can't forget Ben. She begins to reevaluate what is most important to her. By avoiding easy answers, Giffin once again proves she's one of the best chick-lit writers in this thoughtful, layered, and wholly original story of a woman facing a major choice in her life. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (May 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312348657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312348656
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (474 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of six New York Times bestselling novels, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love The One You're With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three young children. Visit www.emilygiffin.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly thoughtful, intelligent fun. June 13, 2006
Format:Hardcover
Throughout her life, Claudia Parr, the heroine of Emily Giffin's excellent new novel, has sworn up and down to potential boyfriends, inquiring friends, concerned family and anyone else that she absolutely DOES NOT want children EVER. She doesn't have a maternal instinct that she's aware of, and she's perfectly content not to find it. Claudia was never interested in playing house as a girl, and, now that she's in her 30s, she's determined not to concern herself solely with the secondhand on her biological clock. She enjoys her job, her Manhattan life and her freedom. And Ben, her husband and soulmate, is more than happy to remain childless alongside her, their lives not governed by school plays, soccer games, SUVs and Happy Meals.

But when Claudia and Ben's closest friends announce that they're expecting, Ben starts to wonder if maybe a baby wouldn't be that bad, maybe a baby will bring more meaning to their lives. Claudia, though, doesn't have a change-of-heart. She emphatically refuses to even consider a rugrat. So, even though they had a pre-nuptial "deal" to remain childless, Ben and Claudia are suddenly at an impasse in their marriage with a problem that's not at all easy to resolve.

With SOMETHING BORROWED and SOMETHING BLUE, Giffin addressed the complicated nature of female friendships, while also providing fun characters, outlandish situations, hot guys, cocktails, Jimmy Choos and a good story.

With BABY PROOF, Giffin brings all the fun but addresses an even more difficult topic. Through Claudia's predicament, Giffin dares to ask tough questions, like "Is a marriage enriched - or is life necessarily more meaningful - if you have kids?" or "Is it OK to not want kids?"

I love Claudia in this book.
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Poor Execution July 15, 2008
By Iris D.
Format:Paperback
This story had a lot of potential. The moment I heard of the plot - a woman looking for a child-free marriage - I was immediately interested. It's true that women are expected to have children, and anyone who doesn't is believed to be incapable. The idea that a woman may not want children at all just doesn't seem to come to mind. I have always favored this stance myself, and seeing this book I thought it to be an intelligent, somewhat comical view of the subject. Claudia's narrative throughout the book was light and sarcastic, though she frequently brought up subjects that made me think. However, by the middle of the book I was so disappointed and irritated that I ended up just skimming through until I reached the ending.

-SPOILER-
Claudia Parr, who maintains her stance throughout the book - to the point of dissolving her marriage to the man she considers her soulmate - suddenly decides that, "Hey, I might not want kids, but if it will get my husband back then I'll have one." I find this to be not only vastly disappointing, but completely irrational and downright selfish. A woman doesn't want children, but will have one to keep a man? It goes against the strong personality Claudia previously displayed, and also is one of the most self centered things I've ever heard of. Making a decision like that is bound to create resentment towards the husband and the baby, which won't make her hoped for fairy tale marriage any better off. Emily Giffin had a very good novel in the making here, but she ruined it with poor execution.
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78 of 91 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Author cannot write a believable childfree woman at all November 10, 2008
By Rose
Format:Paperback
Baby Proof is a fake childfree book written by a parent trying to impersonate the childfree voice, and she gets it all wrong.

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

Claudia, the main character, is like a background player in her own novel. I kept wondering why, in a book about a nominally childfree-by-choice woman, so much time was given to X, Y, or Z mommy or mommy-wannabe of the protagonist's acquaintance. She had no interests of her own besides her job; most of the time it felt like she was sitting around waiting for the phone to ring so she could listen to the mommies go on and on about themselves. All Claudia ever did was work and serve as a sounding board, babysitter, and supporter for the mommies she knew. When she finally hooks up with the hot childfree guy and goes on a fantastic vacation with him, she can't enjoy it because "something is missing." Gee, could the missing thing be...A BABY??!1?! Subtle, Giffin ain't.

And Ben, Claudia's husband, comes off as so shallow, naive, and selfish that I couldn't stand him, and couldn't comprehend why Claudia wanted him back. When she left him, I thought GOOD RIDDANCE! He came off like a whiny, pouting, manipulative child himself. I couldn't imagine how any woman would want HIM around, let alone want to have his baby.

Then towards the end, Claudia finally gets lonely and beaten-down enough to try to get back together with her husband by offering to have his baby, and at that point I wanted to throw the book across the room. It stopped being chick lit and became, for me, a very subtle horror story about how loneliness and relentless, soul-deadening social pressure force unmaternal women into having unwanted children just to get along in a world that treats non-mothers like second-class citizens.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and entertaining
I think that his has to be my favorite Emily Giffin novel to date. Probably because I can relate to Claudia so much...but I think we always relate to Giffin's characters. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Kimmy T
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Can't wait to read this!
Published 12 days ago by WP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
read it
Published 17 days ago by Luis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy
Published 17 days ago by Vikki
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story.
Great story...great writer...I do enjoy the author and have read other books by her...just didn't want it to end. I was happy the way things turned out.
Published 19 days ago by karen pritchard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great series easy to read on the beach
Published 20 days ago by Renee D Glorioso
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Love her writing, although the ending was totally predictable.
Published 22 days ago by debraclark
5.0 out of 5 stars all nighter
I literally could not put this book down! The characters were so real that I laughed and cried along with all of the phases of their life. I wish I could have read more. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Jill A Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars ADDICTIVE BOOK!!!
I could not put this book down. I highly recommend this one!! Emily Giffin is a master at writing heartfelt live stories!
Published 1 month ago by shanda
5.0 out of 5 stars She did it again...
Another hit by Emily Giffin! I haven't read a book by her yet that I have been able to put down. One of my favorite authors.
Published 1 month ago by Joy Snell
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Topic From this Discussion
Great Book
It's not a sequel.
Nov 29, 2007 by K. Reynolds |  See all 2 posts
cute
Hello.

I'm just wondering if your advanced copy is from the survey from the back of Something Borrowed. I did the survey, but i have yet to recieve my copy. Thanks.
Jun 13, 2006 by Katherine Curtis |  See all 3 posts
More?
Me, too. I have read something borrowed and something blue, but am just waiting for the paperback version of this one...
Aug 2, 2006 by Beka Bernard |  See all 2 posts
sucks
I know, it's a little belated, but Ethan just cameos saying how he and his wife enjoy having their twins.

It's really a by-passing thought.
I thoroughly enjoyed "Baby Proof" even though i originally thought it was going to be a third edition to the Ethan/ Darcy/ Rachel/ Dex story. I... Read More
Dec 15, 2008 by Jordyn |  See all 5 posts
paperback?
It should be out next spring - that has been the pattern with Emily's books
Aug 7, 2006 by Sadie |  See all 4 posts
thoughts Be the first to reply
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