The Antenatal Group by Amy Bratley

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The Antenatal Group by Amy Bratley

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Pregnancy can be both an exciting and terrifying time especially if you are going to be a new mum for the first time. An antenatal group can provide a lifeline for so many women bringing a shared sense of community. This is the case for the five women who meet up at the group in Amy Bratley’s latest book. They are all about to embark on a roller-coaster journey and their lives will never be the same again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 385 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Pan
ISBN: 9781447218388

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Five women are all looking forward to meeting their new babies in a few weeks time. Part of their preparations involve joining the local antenatal group where they get to meet each other. Little do they realise, when they turn up for their first session, how much they are going to come to rely on and care for each other. This book is partly a testament to all those lasting friendships that are formed in groups just like this all over the country.

The women are all very different as are their circumstances. Mel’s partner has just decided that he is not ready to be a father thus leaving her to face the prospect of parenthood alone; Lexi has become pregnant through donor sperm; and Rebecca, the youngest, has to grow up very quickly. Katy cannot bear to lose control over any aspect in her life whereas Erin is terrified about becoming a parent due to a secret tragedy from a few years earlier. All their stories are fascinating and I found myself caught up in their lives from the moment I started reading the very first page. Some of the stories are moving but there is a great deal of humour too. Most of all though, it is a realistic account of what life is like when you are pregnant and just after you have given birth.

The reader is privy to all five women’s births but the writer does not go in to any of these in too graphic detail. She does demonstrate though that no two births are exactly the same and it is quite likely that things will not go the way you planned. This is definitely the case for at least one of the new mums in the story.

The Antenatal Group is a thoroughly enjoyable book and I really loved the sense of camaraderie between the women. It brought back very fond memories of my own antenatal group that I belonged to over ten years ago. I would definitely recommend this book for all sorts of readers; whether you remember your own antenatal days or if you are soon to give birth yourself, there is a lot to enjoy in this book.

This was the first book I had read by Amy Bratley but I will certainly look out for more from her in the future.

Why not also take a look at One Thing Led to Another by Katy Regan?

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Buy The Antenatal Group by Amy Bratley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Antenatal Group by Amy Bratley at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Antenatal Group by Amy Bratley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Antenatal Group by Amy Bratley at


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