Introducing This Fragile Life by Kate Hewitt... *GIVEAWAY*

This Fragile Life by Kate Hewitt

Blurb: You love your best friend. You trust her with your life. But could you give her the most precious gift of all?

Alex's life is a mess. She's barely holding down a job, only just affording her apartment, and can't remember when she was last in a relationship. An unexpected pregnancy is the last thing she needs.

Martha's life is on track. She's got the highflying career, the gorgeous home and the loving husband. But one big thing is missing. Five rounds of IVF and still no baby.

The solution seems simple. Alex knows that Martha can give her child everything that she can't provide. But Martha's world may not be as perfect as it seems, and letting go isn't as easy as Alex expected it to be. Now they face a decision that could shatter their friendship forever.


This is how it happened; this is how it always happens. I got drunk. I finished work, I was meeting my friend Liza at a bar on Fourth Street and Avenue A. We had a glass of wine each, and then I saw Matt across the bar and he gave me the kind of goofy grin that convinced me I was half in love with him six years ago.

            He came over, we talked, and at some point Liza must have made herself scarce because I don't remember her going or even saying goodbye.
            We went outside, still talking, giggling over nothing. It was early July and the air was warm and drowsy and I had a little buzz from several glasses of wine. We'd fallen into that kind of playful didn't-we-have-a-fun-time-together routine that is the default for relationships that ended without really going wrong. We dated for nearly a year and drifted apart without any real reason why, at least not that I remember.
            And it didn't seem like Matt remembered it either, because he was definitely working the flirt, and I didn't mind. We were walking uptown, and then we were a block from my apartment, and suddenly we were right outside. We just somehow wandered right over there, and upstairs, and onto the futon in the corner of my studio.
            Afterwards I lay on the futon nurturing the last of my buzz while Matt rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling. Something about the way he just lay there made me feel faintly uneasy, but I let it slide.
            "Shit," Matt said. "Shit, shit, shit."
            Not exactly the kind of pillow talk you want to hear. I rolled onto my side.
            "What is it?" I asked, because I thought maybe he'd left his wallet or his phone at the bar, something like that.
            "This was a mistake."
            Oh. That kind of shit. "Probably," I said, because it seemed better to agree with him, and I wasn't imagining that we were going to launch into a full-fledged relationship or anything.
            But then I saw that Matt was scrambling off the futon, searching for his jeans, muttering and cursing all the while. So this was a really big mistake, apparently.
            I lay there, watching him, kind of bemused by how seriously he was taking everything. He finished dressing, stared at me.
            "Sorry," he said, and I almost asked what for, but he was already gone.
            Now it's three weeks later and I'm going over that whole evening, wondering how and why it happened, but of course I have no more answers now than I did then. I let it happen, as I've let most things happen in my life, because it's so much easier. No expectations, and so no one is hurt. Not even me.
            Except now I'm pregnant.
            Termination, of course, is the most sensible option. It's certainly the first one that comes to mind, because after I stare at those double pink lines for a second I'm reaching for my phone, scrolling through my contacts for the Margaret Sanger Center on Bleecker Street. I've had an abortion before. Two, actually. I had them early, when the embryo was no more than a couple of cells. I equated the procedures to Pap smears, and didn’t waste a moment regretting what was or wasn’t. It seemed like the right choice for someone in my position: feckless, fancy-free, without health insurance or in a committed relationship.
            And I’m still all that, yet this time my thumb pauses on the button and I stare at the number and something in me thinks, wait.
            I'm thirty-five years old and I've read enough magazine articles and women's health brochures to know that your fertility starts to decline at thirty-five. Also it's more likely you'll have a baby with genetic problems or disorders or whatever. Basically, at thirty-five, you start to get old.
            I switch my phone off and stare again at the pregnancy test. I don't know what to think. I’m not sure what I feel. I’ve never thought about motherhood, babies, that whole deal. I never saw myself as maternal, not really. My own mother wasn’t, even though she was your typical milk-and-cookies stay-at-home-mom, so maybe it’s genetic.
            I throw the pregnancy test in the trash and I go to work at the little cafĂ© where I'm a barista four mornings a week. For my other job—my real job, I like to think, even though it pays less—I teach art at an after school program for disadvantaged kids. I scrape by, living in a sixth-floor walk up on Avenue C, which is at least two avenues too far east for either comfort or convenience, and I have no savings and no health insurance. Not exactly the kind of life most thirty-five-year olds aspire to, but it hasn't bothered me until now.
            Until a baby.
            No, I can't think that way. Won't, because everyone knows it's not a baby yet. It's maybe a couple of cells. Barely visible to the naked eye. Anyway, I might not even be pregnant. False positives and all that, and even if I am pregnant, I could still lose it.
            And so I don't think about it, and I still don't think about it, and then I wake up one morning and roll over on my futon and retch onto the floor. Morning sickness. And I know I need to start thinking about it, and I reach for my phone, and I still don't call that number.

About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 60 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.


Paperback copy of Kate's new book, A Mother's Choice (Out June 2018)


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