I can’t say that I’ve ever asked myself “How difficult can it be to grow a baby?” and neither has Kiki Carlow. She wasn’t quite planning on having one yet but it would appear her honeymoon wanted to make a lasting impression…in the shape of a baby. Faced with the daunting prospect of having to be an oven for the next nine months, Kiki navigates the field of pregnancy and its many hurdles, from throwing up all food that isn’t salt and vinegar crisps or melon to realising that she is actually going to have to give birth to the baby and then raise it! This is nothing like getting a Tiny Tears doll for Christmas.
Kiki’s story is told through her diary, full of to do lists, conversations and achievements as she progresses through her pregnancy. With the help of husband Thom, Sister Susie and various others, Kiki learns just what it takes to be a great Mum.
Even though I had not read ‘The Wedding Diaries’ (the predecessor to ‘The Baby Diaries’) I still enjoyed this as a stand-alone novel and never felt like I missed out on any important details. It took me a while to warm to Kiki, I found her brash and selfish at first. She eventually grew on me, though, as I continued to read and I found myself laughing out loud frequently at her antics. Her relationship with Thom is fantastic; he obviously understands her well and their interactions as a couple flow well, often providing laughs. It was the relationship between Kiki and older sister Susie that had me snorting with laughter most often; Susie’s to-the-point attitude provides some hilarious scenarios when Kiki panics about becoming a Mother and regular tampering with each other’s advent calendars at Christmas provides a lot of giggles, showing how close they are as sisters.
Scenes where the whole family are involved are written with a familiarity that most people recognise from spending time with their own family, though I did feel some of the peripheral characters could have been developed further. This was a running theme for me throughout the book - I felt like a lot of other plotlines were itching to be pursued, especially between Kiki’s Mother and Susie, both of whom have troubles during the book. Exploring this further might have added a little more warmth and sentiment to the hilarious scenarios.
Originally apprehensive about this book (the title put me off a little) I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed the rapport between the characters and I laughed a lot (wait for the labour scene!) by the end of book I really liked Kiki and enjoyed her story. Perfect for a good giggle.