Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston

Bed Rest – Sarah Bilston (web)
Publication: 2007 (paperback), Sphere
Page Count: 248

My Rating: Good Weekend Read
“Weds, 11:05am: This is the first morning of my first full day of Bed Rest and I think I’m doing great. And I haven’t switched on the TV once!
Weds, 6:15pm: Why do people disturb me halfway through ‘Rich’? Just as I’m settling down to watch “I was a Ho but now I’m a Hottie”, the phone rings or the doorbell goes and that’s the end of that.”
A successful young English lawyer, Quinn ‘Q’ Boothroyd is living in New York and happily married to handsome, successful Tom. She has checked off most of the items on “The Modern Woman’s List of Things To Do Before Hitting Thirty” and is now expecting her first child. Quinn and Tom are extremely excited about their future; until Quinn’s doctor tells her she has to spend the last three months of her pregnancy on strict bedrest. Completely thrown by the idea of losing her social and professional life, Quinn begins a diary to note her time on bed rest and finds herself re-examining her world.
My Thoughts
While Quinn is a very likeable character, there were a few teeth-grinding moments. I flat HATED her husband Tom – past the introduction, he is largely absent. As the novel is focused on realistic themes, I found his absence grating. Maybe I’m just lucky (because my Mister is very hands-on in our house; he does the washing, cooking, cleaning…), but I’d expect an expectant father with his pregnant wife on strict bed rest to be supportive at the very least. The most Tom seems to do is make Quinn the occasional sandwich and accompany her to the odd appointment (while being glued to his phone), but for the most part he is away working and Quinn frequently laments his absence. As she is otherwise a strong, independent character, I found her constant whinging to be disingenuous; surely a woman of her elk would sit him down and say “Listen Buddy, I’m pregnant with your child and stuck on bed rest for three whole months, so you need to either buck your ideas up or bugger off!”
Bed Rest differs with the typical women’s literature novel; not everything ends in the archetypal “happily ever after”. Some may find these elements disconcerting, but others will enjoy the difference from the typical women’s literature narrative development. I guess that’s why I hoped Quinn would stick up for herself – I think this novel would have been much better with a good argument or two to spice it up! After all, Sarah Bilston hasn’t focused on tying all narratives up neatly and nicely, so why does Quinn have to be a push-over?
Apart from this bugbear, I really enjoyed this novel. I initially purchased it because at the time I needed to be on bed rest myself, so I thought I might enjoy a light, uncomplicated storyline and themes I could relate to. But this novel was much more than just a quick, uncomplicated read. It considers a few interesting ideas that complicate the storyline and make it a fascinating novel that I will definitely read again.
The sticker on the front of my edition reads “Love This Book or Your Money Back – Publisher’s Promise”. ‘Quite a brave promise,’ I thought (after first thinking how absolutely facetious someone would have to be to read a book and then demand their money back because they didn’t like it!). But ultimately, it was not a brave promise, because it would be difficult to find a reader of women’s literature who didn’t love this novel.
Where Can You Get It?
To buy Bed Rest for a great price and have it shipped straight to your door for free, follow this link to the Book Depository.

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