Tales from the Crib
Jennifer Coburn
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Buy *Tales from the Crib* by Jennifer Coburn

Tales from the Crib

Jennifer Coburn
323 pages
January 2006
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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On the day Lucy Klein is going to tell Jack, her husband of fifteen years, that she is finally pregnant after years of miscarriages and heartache, Jack springs the news that he wants a divorce. The couple has tried everything from marriage counseling to romantic getaways, but nothing seems to improve their marriage. But Jack really wants to be a full-time parent to this child, so he proposes a deal to Lucy. They will stay married and live in the same house, but they will be married in name only and free to see other people. For lack of another option, Lucy agrees.

Yes, it’s a bizarre arrangement, but Lucy is used to strange. Her mother, Anjolie, is a drama-queen diva involved in many odd prospects. Lucy endures the pregnancy and gives birth to a beautiful son. Between La Leche League meetings and trying to get her writing career going, she is learning how to be a great mother. But will her son be permanently scarred by his parents’ peculiar marriage arrangement? Or is there hope to resurrect the romance?

Tales from the Crib is a funny yet poignant mom-lit novel. Lucy is an endearing character who finds herself in a strange situation. Since the story is told from Lucy’s first-person point of view, we’re never given any insight into what Jack thinks about everything. But overall, that doesn’t really matter and actually makes for a cleaner story. Their arrangement is definitely unconventional; however, the end results are uplifting and make the entire novel a worthwhile read.

Women who have experienced pregnancy, childbirth, and the joys of breastfeeding will identify completely with Lucy and her struggles. Those who haven’t may find the subject matter tedious and won’t be able to relate. Although I personally loved the insightful breastfeeding discussions, it’s good to be warned that there’s a lot of it.

The humor is delightful - the scenes involving Lucy’s extended family are laugh-out-loud funny. Some of the instances that should have been hilarious—such as Lucy’s cousin Kimmy marrying herself—seem a bit over the top and not terribly original (reminiscent of an episode of Sex and the City). However, the overall plot and most of the characters make up for Tales from the Crib’s shortcomings. It’s a fun mom-lit novel sure to please fans of a happily-ever-after story with a twist.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Melissa Parcel, 2006

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