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Selecting a controversial topic on which to build a first novel indicates a young author with courage and creativity. ‘Swaying’ deserves defining before reading this fine novel. From the Internet we read, ‘The truth about swaying is that there is a science to it – a very complicated science at that. There have been many books written that completely dissect the functions of ovulation and conception (as well as pre-pregnancy) in order to effectively try for and have either a boy or a girl. There are many factors involved in swaying. The one seen as the most important is diet. There have been many diets developed for women trying to gender sway that you can look into. When you choose one for you (IG Diet, French Diet, Trivers Willard Hypothesis, etc) make sure that you follow it. The diet part of swaying is meant to help you alter, adjust, and maintain certain levels of your pH, minerals, and hormones, as different levels are needed for the conception of either a boy or a girl. Most of the swaying diets will have you take supplements that will help to keep your levels in certain zones more favorable to one sex or the other. You will also be required to take the pH of your cervical mucus and your partner’s sperm. As a female, you will have to keep tabs on your cervical mucus and actually gather it in your fingers so you can decide whether it is tacky, creamy, stringy etc. Some trials of swaying will also have you taste or smell the cervical mucus; saying that acidic mucus will produce girls while alkaline will produce boys. From there, changing your diets and partaking in things like douching (not regular douching, though) will help to prep the uterine environment to make it optimal for swaying...etc’
As Lucinda opens her book she offers a very personalized approach to the concept of swaying, in terms that make the reader identify with the conundrum. ‘The sperm charge about, zigzagging and bumping into one another. The picture is magnified, each cell the size of a baked bean but with a thin tail attached, flicking erratically. I switch off the television, my jaw tight. Designer Baby! As if choosing the gender is designing them. It’s not as if you are determining their appearance - blonde hair, blue eyes, no garish birth marks, straight white teeth, small ears that don’t protrude like a trophy cup. Not one of the women mentioned looks, intelligence or personality - they were just hoping for a he or a she. I pace into the kitchen, my hands supporting my bulging belly. Why is the stupid biased debate bothering me anyway? Making people who have a
preference out to be selfish and ungrateful! Should they be ashamed of their hopes? The whole thing was ridiculous. But why do I feel uncomfortable? Is the reason I didn’t want to find out the sex of my baby because I can’t face up to my own disappointment? Of course not. I’m not like those people on the TV programme. I walk back to the lounge, suddenly annoyed at myself for being so impulsive in switching it off. I turn it back on and sit myself down, completely engrossed. Am I having a girl?’
SWAYING is about a mother’s obsession as she attempts to influence the gender of her unborn baby. Charlotte has one desire in life - she wants a daughter. She embarks on a difficult and controversial journey that impacts her sanity, her marriage, her two sons happiness and her friend’s life. The story focuses on family dynamics and covers gender disappointment, high tech at home swaying, PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis – basically IVF but testing the embryos for gender too), abortion, gender scans and the many feelings gender disappointment brings.
Not only is the topic of this novel compelling, but Lucinda’s masterful manner of handling the story gives evidence of an important new author surfacing in or midst. This is a very fine debut novel. Grady Harp, October 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Charlotte (Char) is pregnant and is desperately hoping for a little girl, so when baby Luke makes his entrance into the world she's secretly devastated. When she finds an online support group for other mothers who are disappointed with the gender of their babies it opens up a whole new world for her to explore. Topics such as gender disappointment, swaying, diets and what can only be described as diy science experiments quickly become a huge part of Char's day to day life and it's through the forums that she meets Bella, a mum to two boys, who also longs for a daughter.
When her husband Ian agrees to another baby Char's hopes are raised and she manages to convince him to try some of the methods she's researched so that she can hopefully realise her dream of holding Verity-May in her arms.
At first her new friend Bella is someone who Char can depend on for support but gradually it seems that there's something about her that doesn't quite add up and Char is disturbed by the lengths that Bella will go to to ensure that her next baby is a girl. Spending all her time concentrating on how she can fulfil her dream, Char appears to be overlooking the here and now and she finds herself in a situation she never thought possible.
Swaying is a superbly written book about a highly controversial and taboo subject. Lucinda Blanchard has obviously done a lot of research into the subject of swaying and in doing so she's introduced me to a subject that I was totally unaware of. The facts are cleverly combined within the story so that as a reader I was able to fully understand the pressure some woman are prepared to put themselves under to try and guarantee the chosen sex of their unborn child. This was a captivating story with characters that are very easy to relate to, a subject matter that is dealt with sensitively and topped off with a light sprinkling of humour. I was genuinely engrossed by the storyline and I would definitely recommend this thought-provoking read regardless of whether or not you have children and I can't wait to see what's next from this very talented author.