Review: ‘Everybody has Everything’ tells tale of parenthood forced on the ‘Child-free’

If you ever wanted to go into the world of a couple that has

everything except a child, then  are

suddenly thrust into an opportunity to raise a child of  a coma-induced friend, then you would enjoy

reading Award-winning journalist Katrina Onstad’s novel “Everybody has Everything.” 
The tale opens with the tragedy that ushers in a whole new

life and way of living for a pair of DINKS (dual income no kids) who must quickly

learn the way of being parents. Before their friends Sarah and Marcus’ car accident

(which Marcus does not survive) and even after, Ana and her hubby James are a

bit narcissistic, self-absorbed and affluent, existing in upper crust intelligentsia

Toronto social circles.  
The prose is written poetically and with fluidity, so much

so that it reads quickly. The dialogue between the characters is real and the

timing and spacing of events from going through the formality of being a

guardian to  the 2 ½ year old almost new

orphan, Finn, to a trip back in time to the years of struggling to conceive and

back to the process of coming to grips with all the happenstance and unpredictability

of life.
There are plenty moments in the novel where there is

discussion of modern unspoken taboos like society’s treatment, and de facto,

rejection of women who have no desire to be mothers. One of the main characters

is such a person and for flashes while reading this book, transports you into

the mind of a non-maternal person – correction a non-maternal woman. This

difference matters because aren’t all women supposed to want to be moms?

It is refreshing and

eye opening if you happen to be one of those persons who do not “get” child-free

people. You still may not be able to relate because Ana and James may not be

your kind of people, but you can at least understand more. And complex characters make books more fun to read. 

The book doesn’t drag too often because the words Onstad

selects to tell the fictional story are colorful and quite descriptive. It’s a

wonderful addition to your library, for parents –non-parents and would be ones

as well. Onstad is a brilliant writer and story teller.

I enjoyed the book and you may too. It’s certainly perfect for book clubs!
We may be giving away a copy to a Bellyitch Reader. Stay tuned!

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