Mother of Pearl is a sensitive work where the subject matter has been very carefully selected, the research comprehensive, the emotion woven throughout all too real, as it presents the world of hope, despair, depression, longing and in many cases destruction, that is an integral component of the IVF journey so many couples face, in the overwhelming desire to hold a child of their own in their arms.
Angela Savage has woven the lives of three women together in this compelling story of surrogacy, refusing to take a middle ground with this very topical subject, encouraging discussion, but resolutely leaving the judgement of right or wrong suspended.
Meg has faced seven long, savage years of IVF, which has resulted in a change of career, a new beginning, a worn-down husband still very much in love with Meg, but a woman who is still, against all odds, hoping that one day she will hold her own child in her arms.
Anna her sister, an Aid worker has returned to Australia after a very different life in South East Asia. She is settling into her new life, but carrying scars, mourning a lost love and trying to understand a little of what Meg has gone through. Anna’s friends Willem and Steven, with their baby daughter Isabella, arrive to enjoy lunch with Anna, a lunch that sees Meg joining them, and a doorway opening into a yet undiscovered pathway to parenthood.
Mudka, or Mod, a young Thai mother living Sisaket, with her mother, son and sister, abandoned by her gambler husband, also with secrets of her own, is offered a chance to make amends for her past failings, as well as earn some much-needed money for her family. She agrees to become a surrogate mother.
As the three women lives bind together, the pathway of surrogacy is revealed through the eyes and emotions of the people prepared to travel this very challenging, expensive road in the desperately determined, overwhelming desire to become parents.
Mother of Pearl is a powerful story of surrogacy based in Thailand before the rules changed dramatically, and raises very ethical considerations of parenting, responsibility and legality as not just Meg, Anna and Mod’s story is told, but an insight is given into the lives of other young Thai women who have been led into the world of surrogacy for foreigners!
A novel which will certainly be cause for debate in Book Clubs and other social mediums.