Book Club Review: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

1. Do you think that there is a stigma against women who do not become mothers? Yes If so, how much more damning is it for a woman who chooses not to have children rather than one who is simply unable? I believe they are ridiculed or stereotyped more harshly because they are making a choice. Do you think women who don’t want children are judged more harshly than men who don’t want them? Absolutely!!! Society says a woman HAS to have a child, as where a man is able to make the choice.

2. Do you view Claudia as a selfish person? No. How much do you think she is defined by her decision not to have children? Well at first it defined her entire world. Was your first impression of her a favorable one? Yes Did you draw conclusions about her character after the first sentence of the novel? No
3. Do you think that most people would see a partner who doesn’t want children as a deal-breaker? Yes Is this an issue that one can compromise on? Not typically Is there such thing as a deal-breaker when it comes to true love or does true love conquer all? True love conquers all
4. Do you believe in soul mates? Yes I do. If so, do you believe that soul mates, by definition, want the same things in life? Not necessarily
5. There is a statement in Baby Proof that reads: “The biggest decision a woman can make in life is not who to marry but who should be the father of her children.” Do you believe that, to most women, the issue of children and motherhood (and who to share that with) supersedes every other decision in their lives? Yes, these choices are far more important then what profession to be or what car to drive. Or do you think that women today wrestle with the decision to have children more than they would care to admit? The decision to have a child is something all women struggle with and I believe it’s’ something that women struggle with more than then profession and social status.
6. Do you feel it was fair and reasonable for Ben to back out of their agreement to not have children? Yes because the choice of parenthood isn’t something that is concrete. Just because you don’t want it when you’re 27 doesn’t mean that when you’re 39 you don’t want it. It’s a negotiable choice. Is this a realistic promise in the first place? No, not at all!!! How would this have been a different story if it had been Claudia who had changed her mind? The story could have been one about 2 people how never wanted children trying to conceive, the pregnancy, the first 2 yrs of parenthood. Were you more frustrated with Ben for changing his mind about having children or with Claudia for being unyielding in her views? Neither, they were both right…as heartbreaking as it was to read.
7. Through the characters of Daphne, Maura, and Jess, Baby Proof examines ways in which motherhood impacts relationships and vice versa. How do these side stories relate to the central theme of Claudia’s decision to be “childfree”? I think each give her more than enough ammunition to stick to her guns!!! How do you think Claudia’s relationship with her own mother contributed to her feelings regarding having children? I believe that’s always the case.
8. There’s a scene in the novel in which Claudia, Maura, Daphne, and Jess are having lunch, and Claudia observes: “But as I listen to the three women I love most, I can’t help but think how crazy it is that we all want something that we can’t seem to have. Something that someone else at the table has in spades.” How does the issue of motherhood in Baby Proof tap into more universal themes of unexpected outcomes and unfulfilled desires? I believe we all have that one unattainable thing in our lives and at that moment in the story, they all were feeling it. What do you think of Daphne and Tony’s request of Claudia? It’s reasonable. What do you think of Maura’s decision to stay with Scott? To each their own.
9. Claudia’s disdain for Scott’s infidelity is evident in her comments about him. Her disapproval of Jess’s serial dating of married men seems more tempered, even though it could be said that without women like Jess, Scott would have no one to cheat on his wife with. Do you feel that our love for our friends frequently allows us to give them a pass for bad behavior? Yes, absolutely!!!! How often do you hide or minimize your true feelings in order to be supportive of a friend? More then I’ll admit, until they ask for my opinion, then watch out!!!
10. Discuss the ending of Baby Proof in relation to O. Henry’s classic tale “The Gift of the Magi.” Do you feel that the ending was satisfying? Do you think Claudia and Ben will go on to have children? I’m disappointed that the book didn’t give us this answer, because it can honestly go either way.


One thought on “Book Club Review: Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

  1. At the start of this book I didn't understand the title of the book. Since they both decided that they didn't want to have kids. Then when Ben decided that he did want kids I got intrested. I think Ben had every right to change his mind, as we get older and see others with kids some of us get that “baby itch”. I believe thats what Ben got. I can understans why Claudia got so upset and hurt at the same time. They both said things they regret. I hope in the end that they do have a baby and that they are both happy. Really sucks that they didn't give us that answer.

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