Picks and Pans Review: Babyville
After Mr. Maybe and other breezy comic novels about clever British women hunting for the perfect man, Green moves on to what happens after the fairy tale. This time what makes her heroines lightheaded are dirty diapers. Three thirtysomething Londoners share their gripes about motherhood. Talk show producer Julia is trying to save a four-year relationship with a not-so-brilliant plan to get pregnant. Her fellow TV producer Maeve has the opposite problem: an unwanted pregnancy from a onetime hookup with a guy she barely knows. The only one of the trio who already has a baby, graphic designer Sam, finds that being a mom is less pastel-colored fun and more work than she'd bargained for.
Green's writing is uneven, but she draws dead-on portraits of the emotional roller coaster each woman is riding. Julia's deep baby envy and Sam's simmering resentment of her husband's freedom are deftly handled, but it's in Maeve's hand-wringing about whether to end her pregnancy that Green's charm comes through. As for their men, they "group together to find common ground...move to the horrors of having wives obsessed with babies, gradually reveal their softer sides as they compare notes and eulogize the joys of fatherhood." (Broadway, $21)
BOTTOM LINE: Sweet but mushy
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