printed copy

Babyland

Holly Chamberlin

ISBN 9781496703637
Publish Date 4/26/2016
Format Trade Paperback
Categories General, Women's Fiction, Kensington

From bestselling author Holly Chamberlin comes a smart, clever novel about love, marriage, and growing up--not necessarily in that order…

Anna Traulsen, of Anna's Occasions, an elite Boston event planning company, has never been impetuous. At thirty-seven, she's never had a one-night stand, crammed for an exam, or made an extravagant purchase. Now she's engaged and preparing for an occasion of her own. But another event just might trump her wedding, one that she and her future husband weren't expecting: Anna is pregnant.

From her dress fitting to the timing of the honeymoon, for Anna, one question quickly leads to another--about work, the future--and why she finds herself thinking so much about her colleague, Jack, a tousled, talented artist who is the polar opposite of her comfortingly conventional fiancé.

As Anna searches for answers among her friends, she may ultimately discover there's only one place she'll find the truth: in her own heart--and that no matter what she decides, she'll never be the same…

Praise for the novels of Holly Chamberlin

"A dramatic and moving portrait of several generations of a family and each person's place within it." --Booklist on The Family Beach House

"Nostalgia over real-life friendships lost and regained pulls readers into the story."

--USA Today on Summer Friends

Chapter One

Mysterious Ways

Think about a trauma, like a car crash, sudden and unexpected. Or think about having your purse snatched. You’re walking down the block, minding your own business, when out of the blue some creep grabs your purse and makes off with it while you stand there gaping and gesturing wildly. People stare, some might even stop to ask what happened, but no one can re- ally help. The deed has been done. The car crashed; the creep stole your purse.

Nothing will ever be the same. Your perspective has been radically changed. You have been radically changed. And suddenly, life is wrought with consequences you never imagined because you never imagined the inciting incident.

You ask yourself: Why didn’t I ever imagine that I could be in a car crash? Why didn’t I ever imagine that my purse could be snatched? Why didn’t I ever imagine that I could get pregnant even though I was on the pill?

I was thirty-seven and a half years old the morning I dis- covered I was pregnant. Going to have a baby. Knocked up. In the family way. The morning I learned I had a bun in the oven.

Thirty-seven and half years old the morning I found out that I was expecting a blessed event—in other words, the end of my life as I knew it.

My name is Anna Traulsen, and this is my story. At least, the part of my story during which everything just exploded. Back to that auspicious morning.

My first thought after dropping the pink plastic stick into the white porcelain sink was:

Oh, my God, this can’t be happening.

My second thought, after retrieving the stick to give it one more hard look, was:

Of course this can be happening. I had sex. I missed my period. So of course I’m pregnant. This is what happens.

My third thought, after tossing the offending stick into the brushed-aluminum trashcan

was:

What will Ross say! Ross Davis was my fiancé. From the day I met him he’d declared pretty strongly that he did not want children. And when we got engaged, Ross reminded me that a family of two—Ross and me—was all the family he wanted.

And I’d gone along with that.

Except for maybe a dog, I’d suggested. A small dog, one with short hair so the shedding problem would be minimal.

Ross had agreed. Maybe a dog. A small, nondestructive dog. The kind you can train to pee on newspaper.

Well, I thought that awful morning in April, a baby most certainly isn’t a dog, and although it is small, it most certainly is destructive. It spits up on your best silk blouse; siphons your bank account in an alarming way; and puts a firm, wailing, pooping end to your sex life.

The thing that had gotten you into trouble in the first place. Sex with a man.

I remember thinking that I should call Ross right away. I assumed he hadn’t left the condo for his office yet; Ross is never his best in the morning. I belted my robe more tightly around my middle and hurried from the bathroom. With a practiced motion I snatched my cell phone from the kitchen counter where it had been recharging for the past eight hours. The number was loaded; I hit the proper button. A woman’s voice answered on the first ring. “Alexandra,” I said. “I need to talk to you.”

About Holly Chamberlin:

CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT OF THE BEACH QUILT.


Holly Chamberlin was born and raised in New York City. After earning a Master’s degree in English Literature from New York University and working as an editor in the publishing industry for ten years, she moved to Boston, married and became a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband now live in downtown Portland, Maine, in a restored mid-nineteenth-century brick townhouse with Betty, the most athletic, beautiful and intelligent cat in the world. Readers can visit her website at: www.HollyChamberlin.com.


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