XX by Angela Chadwick
|XX by Angela Chadwick|
|Category: LGBT Fiction|
|Reviewer: Holly Lewtas|
|Summary: Chadwick does not disappoint in this intriguing novel that deals with contemporary issues, leaving you emotionally invested and rooting for the main characters.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: October 2018|
|Publisher: Dialogue Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Angela Chadwick's debut novel explores the possibility of two women being able to produce a baby girl through a process called Ovum-to-Ovum fertilisation. It centres around Rosie and Jules who take part in the first ever clinical trial that would allow them to have a child of their own without the need for a sperm donor or any other male intervention. What follows is a story that shows the harshness and at times disgraceful behaviour of the media, and the general public, when faced with a controversial technique that could lead to the demise of men.
In a world of constant technological advancements, this novel deals with many current debates and issues which captivate the reader by presenting this work of fiction in a very realistic way. The novel details the scientific aspects surrounding the clinical trial in a perfectly plausible manner, not avoiding describing processes such as the harvesting of eggs that are crucial to the process. As a reader you are able to picture how this trial would affect the world we live in, making the novel ever-more engrossing.
A key theme of XX is the media and how it has the power to alter people's perceptions. Jules, from whose perspective the story is told, is a journalist, which adds an interesting twist to the novel as she has to deal with the flaws of the profession she has worked in for over 10 years. My favourite part of this novel was that throughout it contained articles which the characters had read concerning the trial. This presented a new dimension as you are faced with a character who finds it incredible that people are so interested in her personal life, yet who has knocked on grieving people's doors herself just to get a story throughout her career. The inclusion of exemplar articles also brought up thought-provoking points, such as how tabloids use language such as wacky-experiment as opposed to clinical trial to sway their audience's vote. It makes you ponder just how much the media is able to subconsciously influence you on a daily basis.
Not only does the media have a large role in this novel, internet trolls who post cruel throw away comments and do not realise how much this can affect a person, are also heavily present. Whether you agree with the trial in this novel or not, you are made to consider the reasons why a person may want to do it and how much the media's cruelty that we sometimes don't even bat an eyelid at, can affect a person's feelings.
Jules and Rosie are quite opposite characters when it comes to their personalities, and their feelings towards their child. It was interesting to see how Chadwick was able to present the two differing perspectives towards motherhood. Rosie, who carries the baby, embraces motherhood and is clearly overwhelmed by her love towards her unborn child. Jules on the other hand deals with difficult emotions throughout, particularly regret. However, you are not made to dislike Jules, but instead feel empathy towards her. Chadwick does a great job in highlighting that it is not always easy for people, irrespective of their gender, to feel that parental instinct and excitement straight away.
Whilst reading XX I was faced with a novel completely different to what I expected. After a reading of the blurb I presumed I would be reading a book heavily focused on science and politics that would have little emotional effect on me. Instead I was met with a novel that pulled on my heartstrings, several times concerning minor characters who I didn't think I cared for. This was a beautifully written novel that I could not recommend more.
If you would like to read a novel surrounding the real-life difficulties faced by a member of the LGBT community in the form of an autobiography then I would recommend Reckoning by Magda Szubanski.
You can read more book reviews or buy XX by Angela Chadwick at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy XX by Angela Chadwick at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.