Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Yet Miranda can’t seem to get the baby off her mind and keeps coming up with excuses to go check on her, until finally a family court judge asks whether she’d like to be the baby’s foster parent—maybe even adopt her. To her own surprise, Miranda jumps at the chance. But nothing could have prepared her for the ecstasy of new-mother love—or the heartbreak she faces when the baby’s father surfaces…. -- NAL
YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME by Yona Zeldis McDonough has an adorable cover! I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I have a hard time resisting shoes. When you add polka dots to the mix as well as those adorable baby shoes, it's pretty much a done deal. Because the cover is so darn cute, you might think YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME is a light read. That's not really the case. It deals with some very serious issues centering around an abandoned baby, and it is both tragic and touching.
YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME tells the story of Miranda, a 35 year old woman who has a great job and great friends. She is trying to move on from a recent breakup when she discovers a newborn baby on the platform of the subway station. Miranda immediately does the right thing and takes the baby girl to the police, but she can't get this little one out of her mind.
Miranda feels an immediate bond with the baby and keeps checking on her status with the foster care system. When the judge asks Miranda is she'd be interested in fostering the baby, or maybe even adopting her, Miranda goes "all in." She has no idea of the many ways a baby can change her life, yet she embraces them and falls in love with her little girl.
Needless to say, Miranda's story capture the attention of the local New York media. She decides to do a story with a human interest journalist, and the biological father Jared discovers that this little girl might be his. Jared wants to do the right thing and parent her, so Miranda reluctantly gives the little girl to him.
The baby's father discovers that parenting a baby is a lot more difficult than he ever imagined... and it cramps his style as a single guy. As he tries to navigate parenting, Miranda tries to move on with her life as she deals with the loss of her baby.
I enjoyed YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, and I appreciated how it looked love and parenting. The book was definitely very sad at times and it did cause a fair amount of emotion in me. I felt both sad and mad for Miranda, yet I also thought the book did have elements of hope. It was a really sweet story!
One thing I liked about YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME was how the story was told. The book alternated between various characters' stories, and I enjoyed getting the different viewpoints. In addition to showing Miranda and Jared's stories, the book also featured Miranda's love interest Evan's story. I truly think this format benefited the reader (or at least this one!) because I was able to see what they were thinking. Since many of Jared's actions were questionable to say the least, I felt as if the author made him more complex; and while I did get very angry with him, I was able to (kind of) understand where he was coming from.
Another fun aspect of this story that did make it a little lighter was Miranda's job. She worked at Domestic Goddess magazine as a food writer/editor. As a result, the author was able to do some very interesting things with her descriptions of food. Miranda could pretty much prepare a gourmet dinner on the fly, and I loved all of the vivid details about the meals.
Finally, my most favorite aspect of this novel was how it delved into the complexities of love and parenting. Even though Miranda didn't give birth to this little girl, she still loved her every bit as much as a woman who carries a child for nine months. I truly loved how the book showed that Miranda became a better person once she became a mother, and my heart swelled as I saw how many sacrifices she was willing to make for her baby.
YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME would make an interesting pick for book clubs. There is a conversation guide included in the back of the book with eleven discussion questions and an interview with the author. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a link to the guide. Some of the themes you might want to discuss include parenting, responsibilities, fate, friendship, love, mental illness, and sacrifice.
YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME is a novel that will definitely resonate with mothers. Recommended for readers who enjoy women's fiction.
Thanks to the publisher and author for providing a review copy of this novel.