Read Dear Thing by Julie Cohen Online


After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most.Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn't prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruinAfter years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most.Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She's already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn't prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire-and even destroy their marriage.Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make...Thought-provoking, heart-rending but ultimately uplifting, Julie Cohen's Dear Thing is a book you won't be able to put down, until you pass it on to your best friends....

Title : Dear Thing
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250081506
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dear Thing Reviews

  • Inge
    2019-07-03 16:43

    Dear Thing is an absolutely beautiful story about all the things that go right and wrong when you try to have a baby through a surrogate mother.Claire and Ben have been trying to have a baby for years, have spent lots of time and money on IVF treatments, but no go. When Claire is on the verge of losing hope altogether, it is Ben's best friend Romily who promptly offers up her womb. The thing is, Romily isn't entirely selfless, because she's been in love with Ben for years. Cue a fair bit of drama with Romily envying Claire for the life she has and Claire envying Romily for her baby-making skills.Aside from the drama, this novel also had a lot of heart-warming scenes, most of them involving Romily's seven-year-old daughter Posie who likes to imagine things that aren't real because real things aren't fun (I can wholeheartedly relate). There's one subplot especially, where Claire nurtures one of her more insecure musical students, which I was really fond of.While a bit dense at times, I still really enjoyed reading this story. It was rich and warm and real and closed off with a satisfying end.Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy

  • Jules
    2019-07-19 18:47

    If I’m completely honest, I chose this book because I fell in love with the front cover (clearly I have a thing for blankets and cuddly toys). When it came to reading it, I put it off for a few weeks, as I really wasn’t sure if it was for me. As I don’t have children, a part of me wondered how I would manage to connect with this book.Dear Thing is a beautiful, emotional and intense read. At one point I couldn’t read the words through my own tears.This book was almost impossible to put down. I was about half way through, when I decided to continue it first thing the following morning, with the intention of reading a few pages while I drunk my cup of tea in bed. My intended quick morning read, turned into me crawling out of bed two hours later, having finished the entire book.I would like to thank the publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin (St. Martin’s Press) for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Aditi
    2019-07-04 17:59

    Cheryl Rae Tiegs, an American model, actress, designer, author, and entrepreneur, has once said, "But when I would see the surrogate, my first instinct, my first reaction would be jealousy, because she was doing what I wanted to do." Dear Thing by Julie Cohen, is a tale about a mother who no longer wants to be a mother and another mother who is desperately trying to be a 'mother' for the first time. Their paths cross when one becomes the surrogate of the other, owing to the fact that, they both loved the same man.An enticing tale about love, trust, motherhood, and the very less discussed topics of these times- surrogacy! When couples, who are trying to be parents for the first time, fail in IVF methods and they don't want to go through all those hectic and long procedures of adoption, then they opt the surrogacy option, i.e. taking the help of another women's womb to reproduce your own flesh and blood and with the help of artificial insemination, the sperms and eggs of the wanna-be parents couples, are planted on that other woman's womb. Julie Cohen, the author, has given us a thorough insight into the world of surrogate mothers, and how they try to not to get attached with the baby and in order of not getting way too attached with the baby, they sometimes start addressing the baby as 'Thing' and how strongly they balance their own emotions with that of the baby's parents. Thanks to Tessa Henderson, of Transworld Publishers, for providing me with a copy of this book.Romily, a biologist doctorate, who offered to be a surrogate mother to her long time university best-friend, Ben and his wife Claire. Romily's seven year old daughter, Poise, is a bright and very intelligent girl, who loved weaving tales about her imaginary worlds and knew each and every secrets of the grown-up worlds. And Poise love Ben and Claire like her own parents. Claire, a primary-school, music teacher, has been trying to become a mother for a very long time. But due to her faulty eggs, even IVF is also not working on her body, thereby making her more and more miserable and lonely. Claire had been married to her one true love, Ben, and they were the epitome of a perfect loving couple, but unfortunately, they failed to become parents.Romily was in love with Ben for eleven long years and she never breathed an air about it to any soul. When Ben and Claire, failed to become pregnant, she offered to become their baby's surrogate mother, thereby opening her floodgates of feelings about Ben and the baby that she conceived. Claire, on the other hand, has devoted her almost whole life to become a mother and when she sees Romily becoming the surrogate, her emotions are haunted by jealously and loneliness. Natural, all through these 9 months, Romily and Claire, couldn't stand each other, whereas, as suggested by Claire, Romily stared to write letters to the baby, a.k.a, 'The Thing'. Things get complicated and Claire and Ben's marriage gets threatened when Claire gets holds of Romily's letters and gets aware of her feelings.This is a brilliantly woven tale of love and motherhood with sharpness and eloquence. The characters developed by the authors are at its best, everyone from Ben to Poise, goes through an emotional turmoil on the arrival of a new human being amongst them. But my favorite character was Poise, who lights up whole book like a firework, her dialogues and comments were like having a sundae on a gloomy day. I fell in love with her almost immediately. Poise remains so nonchalant to the fact when her father, Jarvis comes to meet her after 7 long years; I loved her confidence and intelligence. Romily, on the other hand, was a shy woman, who always felt timid about her own feelings. Claire was a brave teacher and one incident with her favorite student, Max, will make you idolize her as a teacher- losing her job, to make Max pursue his dreams of becoming a pianist. The plot is very well-developed and skillfully penned down by the author. At times it feels your heart with hatred against Romily for breaking Claire and Ben's marriage, next moment your eyes will well up reading about how Romily never held the baby when the baby was taken out of her womb. The emotions are rich and deep and are told strikingly. So, wrap yourself up in this enthralling tale about being a mother for the first time and mostly being a mother to the baby who can never be yours!

  • Akanksha❤ Søren♰
    2019-06-29 18:50

    This book is BEAUTIFUL and is brilliantly written.A must read if you are looking for something innocent and cute~

  • ✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝
    2019-07-12 15:33

    It is such a sweet story between a couple wanting for a baby! This story is so touching! A perfect weekend read! Julie Cohen does her magic again!!

  • Dale Harcombe
    2019-07-01 11:34

    Although I struggled to understand how a woman could agree to be a surrogate, carry and child and then give it up, this story hooked me emotionally. Romily, single mother to Posie, has been best friends with Ben since university days. Even his marriage to Claire has not changed that. Ben and Claire thought they knew how the story went, fall in love, get married and have kids. But then Claire could not carry a baby to term. They try everything including IVF all to no avail. Claire wants to give up. Ben doesn’t, so when Romily impulsively and drunkenly volunteers to act as surrogate for Ben and Claire, Ben jumps at the chance. Claire has her reservations, but eventually agrees. The characters: Romily and Claire are about as different as it is possible to be. Romily is laid back and lackadaisical about parenting and life. Claire likes everything neatly planned, done properly and does her best to be in control of any situation. You sense these opposites will strike trouble along the way. Ben I thought was a selfish twit who neve empathised with the feelings of his wife and never attempted to understand where she was coming from. I failed to see what either Romily or Claire found loveable about him. Posie, real name Mariposa, is a precocious but lovable character, old beyond her years.This is a book that brought smiles, tears, disappointment and moments of anger. I did tell you I was emotionally involved from the start. It’s more a study of characters than a face paced plot and yet I found it worked, especially with the odd curve ball thrown in. I read it in a couple of sittings. If you like books about relationships you should enjoy this one.

  • Rana Abid
    2019-07-07 19:00

    Story of love and tears, incredible, must be read

  • Lori
    2019-07-11 17:37

    I was a good reads first reads winner of this giveaway."Dear Thing" by Julie Cohen . Romily and Claire have been friends for years. Claire has been trying to have a baby for years she has gone through many painful procedures that failed. Romily offers to be a surrogate for Claire and her husband Ben. Romily has secretly loved Ben since college. She thinks this can be an easy thing to do.Instead of going through an official procedure Romily takes a tube of Ben's sperm and inserts it herself. She becomes pregnant. Romily thinks this will be easy she already has a daughter of her own and does not wish for more children. as she carries the baby, it becomes harder for her. She knows she is carrying the baby of the man she loves. She keeps a journal while pregnant writing to the unborn baby as "Dear Thing"She slowly realizes she wants this baby as well. I will not give any spoilers. Will Romily hand the baby to Ben and Claire. Will they find out how Romily feels about Ben and the unborn baby? I found this to be a good read. I wanted to find out what becomes of all these characters. I found myself feeling sympathy for all. Glad I got the chance to read Dear Thing.

  • Lynsey Dalladay
    2019-06-24 10:51

    Utterly fantastic, I loved every minute of this book.

  • Mirela Ivancevic
    2019-07-15 18:30

  • Terri (Le Book Chronicles)
    2019-07-06 10:54

    Originally posted on Le Book ChroniclesIf I am going to be completely honest with you, and I am because that's just how I roll, I have absolutely no idea what to say about this book. Going into Dear Thing, I had certain expectations of what I thought would happen in the book and I'm just not sure if I'm disappointed or not. Because while the book didn't go in the direction I thought it would, it definitely ended in a much better way than I anticipated. You would think I would be happy with that outcome, but I'm just really conflicted.Anyway, so from the blurb you can already guess what this is about. Well you won't even need to guess, you know what this is about. This honestly isn't something I would normally read. I always find these sort of stories too sad to even try to read them, but for some reason, Dear Thing piqued my interest.Dear Thing is told in a dual perspective. One being from the perspective of Romily (The Surrogate mother), and the other being from Claire (The woman who cannot have babies). I really enjoyed getting to see the story from both perspectives, but it just made me feel even more conflicted. I'm the sort of person who likes to put themselves into other people's shoes. And when I do so I feel like I am experiencing everything they are feeling. So when I was reading this, I could feel the yearning Claire felt for wanting a baby, and the apprehension she felt about the surrogacy. but on the other hand, I could also understand Romily's point of view and I sympathised with her unrequited feelings and the confusion she felt about the "thing". But even though this book is a dual perspective, you get the feeling that it is predominately Romily's story. Although in the beginning I didn't really like Romily, yet I was mainly rooting for her throughout the whole book. I guess it's because she had the sadder story being the single mother pining after her best friend of eleven years who is married to the perfect wife etc. But even so, I thought she was a terrible mother, there was just no love in their relationship and I hate that. She even had her daughter call her by her first name because she didn't feel like "mum" suited her. The daughter would even pretend that her Godparents were her real parents and Romily was just someone she stayed with. Honestly I just don't know. Having said that, there was a lot of character development in this book and by the end, Romily finally got her act together and really started to show an interest in her daughter rather than just being an observer. So I was very happy about that. With the plot of the book, I found it very captivating. The story was constantly changing and I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen next. Even though it didn't really end up where I was hoping it would, I like how Cohen concluded the story (I think). I also liked the friendship in the story. It's not your conventional friendship but I still thought it was really nice.I would definitely recommend this if you like adult women's fiction and if you like reading about some more controversial topics. Dear Thing deals with the topic of surrogacy in a respectful, yet honest way making it a very emotional and gripping read.So this book was published in 2013, yet I received an eARC to review. So I am assuming that this book is being republished with a new cover? For those of you who have already read this, I'm not really sure if there have been any changes made to the story or not but my guess is it hasn't.​Rating: 4/5**This book was sent to be via eARC in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way affected my opinion of this book.

  • Luucy
    2019-06-24 17:51

    You can read this review on my blog:** I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange of my honest review **Well, reading the synopsis of the book I thought it would be like in the movies I'd seen about surrogates but I still wanted to read because I'd never actually read something like this ☺Dear Thing was a really sweet and touchy read, the story for me was incredible and the way is narrated is pretty cool but the issues I had were the characters :/The females characters Romily and Claire were nice, smart and unique in her one ways but they still felt like they were less than the other and they were always comparing with each other. However, I liked them because they low self esteem was the only problem with them, aside from that they were amazing mothers that had some mistakes, incredible womans and perfect for each other. I think they could have an amazing friendship if they just relax a little bit.Now, the character I HATE the entire book, well no the entire book because there were time were I think nice things about him but I can count those times with one hand. Ben was SO annoying for me, it was just a man who didn't understand anything about woman. I know there are men that say "women are complicated" and for me that's not true, we're pretty simple and I couldn't understand how he didn't get what the women near him were feeling. The only thing he was worry about was himself and his "Thing" and because he worry about it is that I liked him from time to time...The other characters were nicer for me than this three. I liked the girls, especially Claire, but the other characters were better :/, more polite and caring. I would like that we had more story with Max, I'm still curious about him, I really liked that boy ❤.Afterall and putting Ben aside, this book was very sweet but a lot of drama.The best thing about this book is that maybe the grown ups had problems with themselves and each other but they all worried about the kids, no matter what they would all together do what was the best for the kids <3. The end was sweet, it made so much sense and it is totally worth it :D

  • Brittany
    2019-07-08 13:43

    Dear Thing turned out exactly how I expected it to be; messy adult drama. Romily essentially offers to become a surrogate for her best friend Ben and his wife Claire. The hitch, Romily has been in love with Ben for years. So although Romily might believe she's doing this help her friends have what they so desperately want, deep down it was never going to be quite that easy. Dear Thing is a story about feelings and how they develop and change. At least that's what I took from it. Ben and Claire both so desperately want to be parents but it turns out that the "normal" way is just not in the cards for them.Claire understandably feels done. Her body is tired. But Ben sees Romily as this savior of sorts. And Romily just wants to give back to two of the most important people in her life that helped her raise Posie(her daughter(she's a single mom)). As an outsider you can see where everyone's at and feeling; understand every side to this tricky triangle; Claire's resentment, Ben's rose coloured glasses, and Romily's evolving, let's call it predicament. Hurtful things are said, actions are misinterpreted, like I said so much mess. Posie is a great kid. She's an oddball and super intuitive. And kind of helps all the adults not to completely lose their minds. I also adore Jarvis and his roll. He acted so spot on for the situation. I was scared for a few pages that things were all going completely to hell. I most definitely would have thrown the book. Luckily no books were harmed. This time. I know I'm being some what vague, but I don't want to take away from the emotions that this book doles out. I will admit to having a bit of a disconnect, but that in no way kept me from feeling for all the characters.

  • ElifYıldız
    2019-07-17 15:59

    Kitap için değerlendirmem; 2/5Ve sonunda Julie Cohen'nin kaleminden çıkmış olan kitabı bitirdim. Kitabın konusunu değinecek olursak, evli bir çiftimiz var. Uzun süredir çocuk sahibi olmak istiyor ve birçok kez deniyorlar ama başarısız oluyorlar. Pes etme noktasına geldikleri anda arkadaşları Romily, taşıyıcı anne olma teklifinde bulunuyor ve hikaye bu noktadan itibaren başlıyor.Aslına bakarsanız konusu iyi seçilmiş ama böyle konu içeren bir kitaba göre hiç duygu hissedemedim. Bazı bölümleri okurken yoruldum denebilir. Kitabın dili kolay, hikayesi farklı ve güzel ama anlatımda çok fazla eksiklik vardı. Son sayfalara gelene kadar kitap için değerlendirmemi 1 olarak düşündüm ama son sayfalarda güzel toparladı. Ve sonunun istediğim gibi bitmesi sanırım 2 vermeme neden oldu. Her ne kadar sıkılarak okumuş olsam da, kitabın konusu farklıydı benim için. Kitabın son kısmı güzeldi ve sanırım bu da beni motive etti. Okumalı mıyım Elif, tavsiye eder misin diye sorarsanız;İsterseniz siz de bir şans verin derim ama ben kitabı sevmedim.

  • Bookevin
    2019-07-04 15:00

    Full review on I Heart.. Chick Lit.www.iheart-chicklit.blogspot.comWhat I thought about it:OK, I was wrong to neglect this book. What with more and more coming my way, I forget that I've got a copy on my bookshelf. So, while I was clearing my shelves, I found Dear Thing, nestled in my bookshelf. Since I didn't feel like reading a light, fluffy title, I picked this up and I was so happy I did!Dear Thing follows the story of a married couple, Ben and Claire who have been trying for a baby for a very long time, but every attempt to conceive their first child always ends with disappointment and heartbreak. It's not Claire's fault that she has "faulty eggs" but her husband is desperate for a baby. When his best friend, Romily offers to act as a surrogate, it seems like the cleverest solution to their problem. But how can you carry a little person inside of you without loving it?I've never read any of Julie's books before this, but I have a strong urge to, after reading and loving Dear Thing. Though I must point out, Dear Thing is completely different compared to her previous titles, which are lighter. In Dear Thing, surrogate pregnancy is the main theme of the book, where Romily decides to carry Ben's child, in her body. Yes, her eggs too. I think Julie made a really brilliant decision to focus on the topic of surrogacy.I never thought this book would be so emotional and gripping. I was completely hooked from the start and I was intrigued by the plot. It's definitely a thought-provoking tale, where you'll be wondering about what happens next. The thing about Julie Cohen's plot is that, it's cleverly written, where every thing her characters do will contribute to the flow of the story. I really have to hand it to Julie, she writes and describes things beautifully, especially her description of Max's composition and expressing her characters' feelings.In Dear Thing, readers are torn between rooting for Claire, the one who has the perfect everything - except her ability to conceive, and Romily, whose course of life is never smooth, juggling her job and raising her daughter by herself. I admit, I couldn't pick a side. Each woman had their reasons for what they did and it's up to you to discover as I would be a criminal if I were to reveal anything! The characters in the book were really wonderfully written, I particularly adored Romily's daughter, Posie as she reminds me so much of myself.Verdict:Dear Thing for me was incredibly moving and utterly heartwarming. You'd be a robot if this book doesn't bring tears to your eyes. I enjoyed it immensely, as I was really intrigued to read about the ending. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jojo Moyes. Please, go get a copy, I insist. I would like to thank Bantam Press for sending me a copy of this riveting, emotional rollercoaster of a book!Rating: 5/5

  • Rea Cobb
    2019-07-15 10:47

    I have just finished reading Dear Thing by Julie Cohen and all I can say is wow!Desperate for a child Claire and Ben are devastated when they fail at each and every way to conceive. Feeling beaten Claire decides she cannot put herself through the heart break any more. Ben’s best friend Romily offers them a very generous alternative, a way to have their longed for baby without Claire having to go through any more trauma. Ben is over the moon but will things be as straight forward to Claire and Romily?This was an absolutely beautiful and delicate read that had me intrigued from the first chapter. The synopsis to this book had me hooked before I even started this book, I was excited to start this book as it sounded unlike anything I had read before. Surrogacy has always been something that I have always had a few questions about as it is a wonderful gift to be able to give but I often wonder how the surrogate feels whilst carrying a child you know you are going to give up and this book touches on everyone’s point of view from the surrogate and the new parents side. The author has clearly done a hell of a lot of research for this book not only on surrogacy but also on fertility problems and at times reading this book it I needed to remind myself that this is fiction because it all felt very real.All of the characters in this book are unbelievably well written the characters could easily be the neighbours down the road they felt so real. Posie who is Romily’s daughter was a lovable little character who seemed to have an old head on her shoulders although I did find it very odd that she calls her mum Romily. The author manages to portray the emotions of Ben, Claire and Romily very well and equally there didn’t feel like a main character as they all were an important part to the story. I particularly liked the Dear Thing letters that Romily wrote as these letters real showed her emotions deep down. This is the first book that I have read about this subject matter which meant the book had a wonderful fresh feel to it. You will find the book brings out so many emotions, Posie helps to bring a smile to our faces which is needed after the emotional feel to this book. The book had a couple of little twists and I for one couldn’t predict the outcome which helped to add to the enjoyment of this compelling read. I cannot recommend this book enough it definitely has a unique feel to it so if you are looking for something fresh, exciting and compelling this has to be your next read.

  • Rhoda Baxter
    2019-07-23 15:47

    I’ve been waiting for this book to come out in paperback ( I don’t hold with buying hardbacks). I love Julie Cohen’s books and this one sounded particularly intriguing.Dear Thing is about parents – single parents, reluctant parents, wannabe parents, the lot. Claire and Ben want a baby. Romily, their friend, agrees to be a surrogate parent to Claire and Ben. Of course, it’s not that simple, because Romily has been in love with Ben for years.This is an interesting love triangle (quadrangle, if you include the baby). The subject of parental love – that bond that connects adults to the children they look after, which goes beyond the mere connection by genetic material – is seen from all kinds of angles. This is a well written, sensitive book.I particularly liked the character of Claire, who is kind and sensitive and hurting so much from baby-envy that she comes across as prickly. I was totally absorbed in the individual distress of Claire and Romily. I liked Jarvis, but I thought Ben was an insensitive, self centred git.I read this book until well after midnight and picked it up again first thing the next morning. It's that sort of book. It made me smile. It made me cry. As you’ve probably guessed by now – I loved it.Disclaimer: Julie Cohen is a friend, but I bought this book independently. I consider Julie's books to be valuable teaching aids for a newer novelist!

  • Debbie
    2019-07-12 15:30

    4.5 Stars. I really, really liked this book a lot. I don't know why, but I kept letting it sit there on my TBR pile, passing it by for yet another book. Finally it came down to almost crunch time and it was next on the list. I could pass it up no more. What an eejit to have let this book sit there so long. I loved the story, the characters were so believable and I found myself going back and forth. One minute I was for them, the next I wasn't. And it was all because of human emotions and how that character dealt with situations. A character can't get more real than that for me. I mean the only one I didn't want to slap at times was the seven year old! I think it was the title that kind of through me off, but once I started reading it and realized what the title actually meant, bring on the tissues. This was a wonderfully written story with great characters that i think if your into women's fiction and only read one book, this should be it. I just can't say enough good things about this book and how much I liked it. Thanks St. Martin's Press for approving my request and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Hilary
    2019-06-26 17:43

    I liked this book rather than loved it. I didn't particularly like Romily at the start, but I really warmed to her character with her relationships with Posie and Jarvis. I didn't like Claire as a character at all and just did not warm to her. I found the ending to be really rushed, predictable and far fetched be honest. I have problems with characters who say or do something that in reality just wouldn't happen and I feel this way about the conclusion of this book.I thought the subject matter of fertility and surrogacy was really interesting, which is what drew me to read it, but I feel as though this book was a bit too light and easy reading and felt that Claire's individual story of fertility problems wasn't as perhaps dark as in reality they would have been.

  • Sandra
    2019-07-15 16:41

    I picked up this book whilst on holidays, mainly because I loved the cover and the blurb on the back instantly drew me in. I wasn't disappointed. It's a page turner that required all my strength not to flick to the final chapter and see how it would all pan out.Great read. Great characters. Loved it.

    2019-06-23 12:46

    Çok duygusal bir romandı..Her kadının özellikle çocuk sahibi olmak isteyenlerin okuması gereken bir kitap..Önyargısız okuyun..

  • Ruth
    2019-07-14 11:33

    Read & reviewed for The Bookbag hopes for the happily ever after, and Claire and Ben expected that once they were married, once they had the house with a garden big enough for a swing, that the babies would naturally follow afterwards. So what happens when the babies don't? How long do you try to get pregnant? How long do you endure IVF? At what point do you say enough is enough, and let go of the dream? And what if, at that moment of feeling you simply cannot take any more, your best friend offered to be a surrogate mother, and carry your baby?This is a story of surrogacy. It's also a story of marriage, and friendship, and love. Claire and Ben are the married couple who have been unable to have their own children, and it is Ben's best friend, Romily, who offers (whilst drunk) to carry their child for them. What complicates matters somewhat is that Romily is in love with Ben. She has been ever since she met him. Not that she'd ever do anything, or that she expects anything from him. She's a single mother herself, with a seven year old daughter called Posie. Ben and Claire have been involved in Posie's life right from the start and, indeed, Posie even likes to pretend they are her parents sometimes since they are a lot more normal than her own mother. Claire and Romily, meanwhile, have barely shared a word, or a moment alone together, the whole time that she and Ben have been together. Claire is jealous of Romily and her beautiful, intelligent daughter, and also a little scared of her too. Romily is unsettled by Claire who is a teacher, highly organised, very efficient, great at mothering, bakes perfect cakes and hosts perfect birthday parties for Posie. And of course Claire's married to the man Romily loves. And into all of this they're going to bring a brand new baby? It's a recipe for disaster...I think before I begin properly I should explain that I know the author of this book. We met through our children and became friends. I have often listened to her talk about her writing, the wrestles with her characters and the niggles with her plots, but usually it's just like listening to anyone else talk about their work. This book, however, was different. She was writing it when I was pregnant with my second child, and the more we chatted about these characters and their pregnancy struggles and problems and stresses, the more involved I became in their lives. My own morning sickness merged with Romily's, and as my pregnant belly grew, so did hers. And so I have waited and waited for the book to finally be published, so that at last I could read this story I'd heard so much about. I expect that was rather a lot of pressure for Julie! I was a little nervous myself.But I don't just read Julie's books because I know her - I read them because I know she writes a really great story. She has that knack with stories, where you become involved in everyone's lives and when you get to the end you feel sad that you won't get to spend any more time with your new 'friends'. I always enjoy the mixture of sadness and laughter too, and this is certainly a book that had me laughing and crying. There are some incredibly sad moments in the story. Claire's miscarriage after her final IVF implantation is heartbreaking. I've miscarried. I know. I found it deeply moving. Romily's stumbling life, as she crashes her way through motherhood and fights with her own feelings for Ben, her pregnancy hormones, her growing attachment to the baby and her new-found friendship with Claire is also both funny and heartbreaking. As is Posie, her super-intelligent daughter.I expect that opinions will be divided over both Claire and Romily. When Julie was writing the book I felt desperately, horribly sorry for poor, poor Claire, to the point where I was begging Julie to just please write one really nice day, where everything went right, so that I could feel content in the knowledge that at least Claire had had that! Somehow, in reading the book, it balanced out for Claire. She does have some awful traumas and heartache to bear, and sometimes you wish she'd stand up for herself more. But then, slowly, she does. And, slowly, she begins to understand herself, and others, much better too. Romily is bonkers, obsessed with insects, totally disorganised and I loved her for it! Again, I had my opinions before the book was complete, about how Romily was bringing all this trouble on herself and so really she deserved whatever morning sickness she got and really, she'd get over it all. But as I read I felt terribly close to her, understanding who she was and why she was doing what she was doing and knowing it was foolish and dangerous, but still understanding why.The letters to the baby, scattered through the book, are moving and intriguing as you wonder for a while who is writing them. I love the way the relationships ebb and flow through the book, particularly the way Claire and Romily edge closer to friendship. The fallouts are traumatic, and convincing. The birth scene was one of my favourite parts of the book. I think the only relationship I found that left me a little bit underwhelmed initially was between Claire and one of her students. It grew on me, but I felt that the first beginnings of it were too much off stage and I needed to see a bit more to care what was happening. I suppose, though, that really this was because I was mostly interested in the Ben/Romily/Claire triangle, and anything that the delightful Posie did, of course!Anyway, you probably won't be all that surprised that I wept at the end of this story. I expect it was at least partly hormones, but I'm pretty sure a good deal of it was to do with the beautiful, beautiful story. It's incredibly moving. I felt so involved in these characters' lives that by the end it really was that old cliché of a book I couldn't put down. I read until late in the night, ignoring the fact that my own little boy would be waking me up in just a few hours. I just had to get to the end! I had to see what happened! Even after I'd finished reading I kept crying on and off, so it was an extra late night that night! I'm not, of course, going to tell you anything more about how it ends - you can go ahead and wonder like I did until you can read it for yourself to find out. Give yourself a good long stretch of time to read, lots of cupcakes, and a large box of tissues...

  • Alva
    2019-06-26 16:41

    What makes a family? Julie Cohen digs deep into the heart of her characters to help us find an answer to this question. Dear Thing is a precious, human, heartfelt story, not just about surrogacy but about human nature, love in all its guises, and about children. Dear Posie, dear sweet Posie who for me, in her own way, is the central character around whom everyone else circles. It's not about Posie but it's about Posie. It's about Ben, Claire and Romily but Posie is the star. This story deals with motherhood, parenthood, surrogacy, parent-teacher incidents, teacher-student circumstances, love, marriage, single-parenting, the entire gamut. Julie Cohen draws us wholeheartedly into the complexity of the original question. What makes a family? Read this wonderful eye-opening story to find out.

  • Carole P. Roman
    2019-07-14 10:59

    Claire and Ben are desperate to have a child. Despite numerous fertility issues, Claire finally becomes pregnant and ends up miscarrying right away. Enter Ben's best friend Romily, a single-mother who volunteers to have a child or them. Dear Thing is the nick-name for the child that brings them all together in a triangle of hurt and anguish. Author Cohen keeps the plot moving rapidly, and you feel and angst of each of the characters. It was a quick and entertaining read filled with provocative issues. Romily's growing love for her unborn child, Ben's infatuation, Claire's unraveling, Posie and Jarvis, Romily daughter and her long-lost father all enter into the fine madness that propels to a climax that will have the reader guessing where each of them will end up.Why

  • Megan Readinginthesunshine
    2019-07-20 12:41

    I was intrigued by this book from the very beginning, the blurb on the back of the hardcover copy is a letter written to ‘Thing’, and it gave me enough information to have an idea that the book will be about family, and perhaps a baby, but is mysterious enough that it sparked my curiosity and made me keen to start reading.Ben and Claire have a wonderful life, they have a nice house, stable jobs, and they are very much in love. The only problem is that they can’t have a baby. After endless hospital trips and attempts at IVF, Claire has given up on ever having a much longed for child of her own. Until one night, Ben’s best friend Romily offers to have a baby for them. Romily is a single mother to her daughter Posie, living a chaotic life as she tries to juggle work and looking after her daughter. With no desire for another baby herself, but having working eggs and wanting to help her friends out, Romily says she will have a baby for them. However, being pregnant stirs up many emotions and feelings in Romily that she’d rather keep hidden. And is being a surrogate as straightforward as it seems?This is the first novel about surrogacy that I’ve read, and I imagine surrogacy is a very difficult topic to write about. However, Julie Cohen really excels in her portrayal of surrogacy, not only from the prospective parents point of view, but for the surrogate who is carrying the baby too. In Dear Thing we get to see things from different points of view: there is Ben who desperately wants a child and is willing to take any option as he is focused on the end result. We also see Claire’s point of view, she has put herself through many medial appointments and read so many books on babies and pregnancy, but after accepting the surrogacy option, she realises she has no control over any of it, including how another woman looks after herself and the growing baby inside her. Then there is Romily, who is suddenly struck with the idea of being a surrogate, but when the pregnancy gets going, she finds her hormones may be overwhelming her, and emotions and feelings may be developing no matter how she tries to stop them.Julie Cohen really enlightens her readers to many aspects of surrogacy, and the fact that although surrogacy is a wonderful and very kind thing for someone to do, there are also many emotions, scenarios and consequences that need to be taken into consideration before embarking on such a choice. And it’s not just feelings that need to be thought of, but the effect that a surrogacy will have on all parties involved, including the parents-to-be, the surrogate mother, and any other existing children on both sides. Although at the age of 23, I don’t yet have children, the subject of surrogacy definitely had me thinking – If I couldn’t have children, would I consider surrogacy? Would I be able to go through it? Would it be the right option for me? I’m certain this book will actually start discussions and encourage talking about surrogacy, and that can only be a good thing as I don’t think surrogacy is a subject that is touched upon frequently.The characters were very well written, they each managed to draw many emotions out of me, including sadness, empathy, frustration, and happiness. Romily was my favourite, I warmed to her straight away as she was a woman who was trying to make the best of all she had and get by in the world, whilst trying to juggle all aspects of her life. I LOVED Posie, I loved her interest in the world around her, the way she was so logical about events, her affection for Ben and Claire, and her questions that had me thinking too! With Ben and Claire, I went back and forth between liking them and being extremely frustrated with them, although in a positive way, this frustration helped me to remember that this wasn’t a straightforward situation and encouraged me to think deeper about the many layers involved in following through with this particular choice. I did feel for Claire after everything she had been through, and there were many very well-written scenes where more of Claire’s feelings about her personal struggles came out. These scenes broke my heart and were very emotional, and at times I had a lump in my throat and a few tears in my eyes. I liked that throughout the story, even though there are times where the characters can be frustrating, we as readers are given the opportunity to individually feel for these characters, to relate to them, and to understand them.One of my favourite parts were the heartfelt and emotional letters to ‘Thing’, they touched me and drew me further into story, I loved how personal, and honest these letters were, and it felt as though I was sharing something important with the character.Dear Thing is an emotional read, as it covers guilt, love, hidden feelings, jealously, sorrow and hope among many others. It is a complex novel with many layers to unravel and devour, and it is a truly gripping read that will have you turning the pages desperate to know what is going to happen next. I finished Dear Thing yesterday morning, and I’m still thinking about it now, this is a truly a story that will stay with you long after you have finished the last sentence. This an excellent novel from Julie Cohen and I would thoroughly recommend it.

  • Els
    2019-07-20 15:50

    What a treasure! The emotions jump out of the book, grab you by the hand and drag you in. Perfecly chosen title, beautifull cover, wonderful story, fluent read. It's hard to put it down.

  • Zoe
    2019-07-04 13:50

    This was a seriously amazing book. Happily married couple Ben and Claire can't conceive. After many failed attempts and another painful miscarriage, Claire gives up. Ben, however is determined for them to have their baby and vows to find a way. One drunken evening in the pub, Ben's lifelong best friend Romily offers to have their child FOR them. But little do any of them know, Romily is in love with Ben. Always has been. My own views on surrogacy remain the same - a selfless, wonderful act but can it really work in situations like this? My opinion? No. This story however was flawless. Weirdly realistic, honest and beautifully told. A MUST read.

  • Leah
    2019-07-10 14:34

    When I read Getting Away With It by Julie Cohen back in 2010, I loved it. It was an absolutely amazing novel. It was fresh, it was fast paced, it had a plot I’d never read before… It was everything I wanted in a Chick Lit novel and so I had high hopes for Cohen’s next novel The Summer of Living Dangerously, which, for me, sadly fell flat on its face. So when I heard about her new novel, despite the disappointment of her previous novel, I was really excited about Dear Thing. It sounded like a departure from her previous works, a bit of a new direction, and I was interested to see if it would be a good thing or a bad thing. Sadly for me, I didn’t enjoy Dear Thing as much as I wanted.The concept of Dear Thing is fantastic – Claire and Ben, a happily married couple have everything they could ever dream of, except for a baby, so when Romily, Ben’s best friend, offers to be their surrogate, they suddenly see their dreams of having a child come true. But Romily’s intentions aren’t exactly pure, and her feelings for Ben, feelings that have been bubbling away under the surface for years, become a lot more intense once she’s pregnant with his baby and she begins to doubt if giving up the baby is something she can do. Romily’s life is made even harder when her daughter Posie’s father comes back onto the scene after years away. Like I say, the concept is fantastic, it’s a brilliant idea, and it is very well executed, I just I suppose if I’m being brutally honest, I just found it a bit boring. It’s not a topic that’s something I can relate to, I’m 22, babies and everything to do with that just isn’t in my thoughts at all (if it ever will be), and while I read the novel, and could feel sorry for the characters, it wasn’t really my kind of book, it didn’t resonate with me.Dear Thing is definitely a novel that will resonate with the masses, it’s a very emotional novel, filled with all the horrors and worries you’d expect when you’re pregnant (in the case of Romily) and expecting a baby (in the case of Claire). One of the more difficult aspects of the novel, the bit I most disagreed with, was that although what Romily agreed to do was a magnificent thing (imagine, being the type of person who could do that for another person) she didn’t do it selflessly, she did it selfishly. She didn’t do it out of the good of her heart, she did it because she wanted Ben’s baby, and I didn’t agree with it. I like a bit of unrequited love, it speaks to me, but not that way. Not in that way at all and as such, I couldn’t really resonate with Romily. I didn’t really feel anything for her because I felt she was acting under false pretences and, if anything, it made me a lot more sympathetic to Claire who was oblivious. (Though I thought women were way more perceptive than that.)So, no, sadly Dear Thing wasn’t my type of read. I read it, I took it in, but I’m not its target market which is totally fine with me. It was very emotional, very touching, and Cohen is a warm writer, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to read. Maybe if I came back to it in 5 years or so it would resonate more and I’d be able to feel it a bit more, but as I am it didn’t. If I’m honest, I want Julie to write another book like Getting Away With It, because it was awesome, but I can appreciate that her writing has evolved since then and has taken a more serious approach to novel writing and it’s something a lot of people will absolutely adore, just not me. I will look out for Julie Cohen’s next novel, as I do enjoy her writing, I do think she’s very talented, I just take to some plots better than others, and some books are easier for me to relate to, easier for me to understand and digest and perhaps this time around, I’m just a bit too young to really appreciate what Cohen was doing with Dear Thing, but it’s definitely one I will re-read at some point when I’m a bit more grown-up and can understand and appreciate the novel a bit more.

  • Kathy
    2019-07-14 14:39

    4.5 stars.Dear Thing by Julie Cohen is an emotional, poignant and thought-provoking novel about infertility and surrogacy.Ben and Claire Lawrence are the perfect couple. Happily married and successful, they have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and after their latest IVF ends in a miscarriage, Claire is ready to give up. Upset over Claire's decision, a drunken Ben confides in his best gal pal and single mom Romily Summer. Romily impetuously suggests that she be their surrogate and Ben does not have to think twice before eagerly accepting her generous offer. Needless to say, he is stunned by Claire's hesitation to move forward with the plan. After careful consideration, Claire's desire for a baby outweighs her many reservations about the arrangement and Romily is soon pregnant with their baby. While the plan seems simple enough, things quickly become complicated as the months pass. Claire is hesitant to believe their good fortune and although grateful for Romily's willingness to be their surrogate, she cannot help but feel like a failure. Despite her assertions that she will not become attached to her unborn child, Romily's longtime love for Ben changes her feelings about the baby she is carrying. Ben becomes confused about his emotions when he begins viewing Romily as the mother of his child instead of his best friend.Claire is a little uptight and reserved so she sometimes appears emotionless and distant. She and Romily have never been particularly close and things are often awkward between them without Ben acting as a buffer. Angry and a bit resentful that Romily can have a baby while she cannot, Claire refuses to become involved with the pregnancy for the first few months. A teacher at a local school, she becomes over involved with a trouble student and even though her heart is in the right place, Claire loses her objectivity and jeopardizes her career.Unlike über structured Claire, Romily is disorganized and a wee bit forgetful. A scientist, she is analytical and logical so she is taken off guard by the emotional impact of her pregnancy. Friends with Ben since college, Romily has been in love with him almost since their first meeting. Before she could work up the nerve to confess her feelings, Ben fell in love with Claire and Romily was content to stay his friend although her love for him never waned. After a casual fling years earlier, she gave birth to daughter Posie who is now a precocious but charming seven year old. No one is more surprised than Romily when old flame Jarvis re-enters her life and once he discovers he is a father, he wants to get to know his daughter.Although Ben is the catalyst that sets the surrogacy into motion, he remains on the periphery of the story. He encourages Claire to spend time with Romily and he blithely goes on with his life without realizing the emotional firestorm he has inadvertently created. As Ben spends more time with Romily, Claire feels more and more left out. With Ben unable to understand Claire's concerns, the two begin to drift apart and it is only a matter of time before their marriage reaches a crisis point.Dear Thing thunders to an uncertain conclusion as tensions mount and emotions run high between Claire, Romily and Ben. With unexpected twists and turns, Julie Cohen skillfully keeps readers on the edge of their seats wondering how this delicate situation is going to be resolved right until the story's heartwarming ending. This fast paced and riveting story is a sensitive and compassionate depiction of surrogacy and infertility and I highly recommend it to fans of contemporary women's fiction.

  • Anne
    2019-07-01 18:49

    I have spent the last couple of days (between working of course!) with my nose firmly between the pages of Dear Thing by Julie Cohen which will be published by Bantam Press, an imprint of Transworld on 11 April 2013.Claire and Ben are the perfect couple, they adore each other, both have great careers, they live in their dream house and to most people they appear to have everything they want. Those closest to them know that the one thing that would make their life really perfect is a baby, and that is the one thing that they can't have. They've considered adoption, they've tried IVF and Claire really doesn't think that she can try any longer, yet her heart breaks every time she sees a pregnant woman or a small baby. Romily isn't perfect - she's a Doctor, but deals with insects not people, she has a child; the wonderful Posie, but there is no father around. Romily is lucky if she finds two clean socks in the morning, and if they are an actual pair, then she's outshone herself. Despite Romily and Posie's chaotic lifestyle, they love each other. Ben has been Romily's best friend since University and he and Claire are Posie's godparents, and sometimes, just sometimes, Posie wishes that they were her real parents. Romily loves Ben and Claire, they've supported her and helped her with Posie and she can't bear their sadness any more. Romily will be their surrogate, she will have a baby for them.Sounds simple? That's what Romily and Ben thought. Claire however, wasn't quite so sure, and maybe she was right to have her reservations?Julie Cohen grabs the reader from page one, introducing the main characters straight away, giving a little bit of their background and a lot of their personalities. Ben is a kind and caring man, he loves his wife passionately and wants her to be happy, he wants them to be a proper family. Ben also cares for Romily, she's his best mate, his quiz team buddy and a girl who will watch football with him. She's also the mother of his beloved Posie who he adores and spoils. Claire is a little more distant, there is no doubt that Ben is her soul mate and the love of her life, but she is suffering inside. As far as she is concerned, she's a failure as a wife and will never be a mother. Romily is a little bit crazy, lives for the moment, is never on time, but is a loyal friend and a loving mum. Posie is the star of the story - creative, funny, honest and so bright - she is an amazing character who will win over every reader.This is a story that is easy to read but is not always an easy subject. The 'Dear Thing' of the title relates to the letters that Romily writes to the unborn child, always referred to by the three 'parent's as 'Thing'. These letters tell the reader far more about Romily than anything that she actually does or says. The letters are moving and at times heart-breaking and are the heart of this story.As Romily's pregnancy progresses, little cracks appear in all of the relationships - feelings are expressed, characters from the past emerge and whole worlds are turned upside down.Dear Thing makes the reader think, this is not just a story about infertility or friendship, although those are two very central themes. This is also a story about realisation, about accepting yourself and your circumstances and about being honest with yourself and with others. Julie Cohen has cleverly woven some really important and sensitive themes into a story that is easy to read, often quite funny and full of larger than life characters.I enjoyed this novel very much. I loved the writing style, the plot and the characters and would recommend this to fans of Jojo Moyes and Lisa Jewell.