What Do You Mean You Don't Want Children ?

House Trained - Jackie Bouchard

The first line had me, it was laugh out loud hilarious. I expected a humorous light romantic tale after that. The story was about life’s lessons, dreams found, the damage of secrets, and ultimately trust. It was more serious than that first line hinted at. I think that threw me off balance. I spent the first part of the book searching for the few funny bits and disappointed when it dragged me into the “preach it” zone instead. (more on that later) I wasn’t completely disappointed the last 30% of the story was somewhat interesting, many issues came up and were handled well, a long relationship was the semi-solid base that held up to the storm. Sweet HEA ending.
The preaching: They are a childless couple by choice. She has a sister with children a mother who wants her to have children, and a lot of really rude women around her who can’t deal with the fact that she doesn’t want any. Great, I love to see a character that steps out of the love=children box. They have a dog instead, a rescue dog yippee another great addition. The problem for me was that the first 50% of the story she (Alex) spend talking about her choice, feeling put aside by it, rehashing it with her family, dealing with strangers regards. It was too much, it felt preachy to me and I just wanted to move on enough already but no, it ended up being a major issue through most of the book. I was so thankful when she finally had something more to deal with, and still she went back to justifying her choice many times. I really didn’t care if she had kids or not. This was obviously not the book for me.
The relationship between her and her husband was beautiful and strong. I think that was what the author planned it to read like. I saw it as weak, filled with lies, mistrust and didn’t find enough love to cheer them on. She hid her truth, her feelings he was a distant and distracted. Alex seemed to take on the doormat quality too easily letting people cross the line when it felt wrong because she wanted to be nice. One massive wake up call would have had me sliced and diced, while this character just went mellow and controlled. If she had held her ground, kicked and fussed a bit, been stronger in her beliefs, not consider herself a consolation prize (UGG) I could have cheered for this woman.
The end was sweet but not worth the time I put into reading the book. The title was so misleading I thought it was the dog being house trained but no it was something else and didn’t justify being the title. It did not work for my taste and I will pass on any future books.