Book Review: Her Giant Octopus Moment by Kay Langdale
Her Giant Octopus Moment by Kay Langdale
This is a novel about a woman who has stolen her own child. Joanie Simpson is a free-spirited woman who regularly lives life on a whim. She has a fabulous sense of humour and is an extremely likeable character, but she seldom follows through on anything. When she watches a TV show about surrogacy and then decides she likes the idea of carrying a baby for a childless couple it is doubtful things are going to end well. She quickly becomes pregnant but when the inner glow of selflessness wears off she pretends she had miscarriage and disappears from town. In due course she has a baby girl, whom she names Scout, and they become a team of two. An intelligent, resourceful and ordered little girl, Scout knows nothing about her father
The novel opens eleven years on when Tess, one of the IVF workers, spots Joanie in the school playground picking up her child. Tess was herself pregnant at the same time as Joanie and she remembers her. Tess alerts authorities and the couple who were supposed to have the baby originally – Ned and Elizabeth. They have since adopted a child, but this is Ned’s biological daughter so they are keen to make contact with her. But Joanie is Scout’s biological mother and has cared for her for eleven years. Her response to the official letters? To take Scout on the run.
What ensues is novel that is written from the different viewpoints of Joanie, Scout, Ned and Elizabeth and the various social workers on the case as Joanie and Scout disappear on a short but hectic journey with different stops in various towns. Her Giant Octopus Moment is engaging, touching, quite often humorous, and it gently explores many of the issues involved in surrogacy, parenting and raising children. The ending of this book is a knock out! Joanie has her giant octopus moment – but you will have to read the book to discover what this really means. A delightful and surprising read!