BOOK CLUB: Claiming Noah

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Author: Amanda Ortlepp
ISBN: 9781925030600
RRP: $29.99

Claiming Noah is a confronting book that is going to be hard reading for some. I found it to be touching and terrifying, heartbreaking and compassionate. This is one that I feel will touch a nerve of every parent but I don’t think every parent would be able to read it.

Conception has become a very advanced science. It has been a long road to get to where we are today with IVF being a common tool to conception, if not a cheap one. We have come so far that infertile couples have another avenue open to them in that they can utilise embryo donation to become parents.

Ortlepp has taken this astounding science and applied it to a cast of characters that go from heartache to heartache in Claiming Noah, a gripping novel that will leave you with no choice but to question the what ifs and put yourself in their situation.

Catriona and James are desperate for children but the old fashioned method just wasn’t working for them so they embarked on the long and complicated process of IVF. With one embryo remaining they decide that regardless of the outcome of their third implantation they won’t be using it. After exploring their options, albeit briefly, they decide embryo donation is the only option for them; they understand the heartache of not being able to conceive naturally and want to try to ease that pain for another couple.

Diana and Liam are on the waiting list for an embryo after exploring their options and deciding they want the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. Quite quickly an embryo comes up and after expecting a lengthy wait they are thrilled. The fertility doctor likes to try and match embryos to prospective parents as closely as possible, he thinks it increases the chances of the embryo taking and it will certainly make life easier later in life for the child.

Catriona and James had a successful, though difficult, pregnancy and gave birth to Sebastian via emergency c-section after a labour that would be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Catriona suffered post natal depression that then escalated to psychosis and was hospitalised for the protection of both her and Sebastian.

Meanwhile Diana and Liam have also had a little baby boy, Noah, who is everything they could have imagined and he shares many physical traits with both Diana and Liam. At two months old Diana and Liam are faced with the unthinkable when Noah is kidnapped.

This book is definitely one that tugs the heart strings but there is also quite an element of mystery that helped keep me reading long after I should have been doing something else.

claiming noah

The characters are all well written and deeply flawed, not irredeemable by any means but very human and relatable. Claiming Noah is written from the perspective of both Diana and Catriona so we can really get inside their heads and understand what is driving them. The fathers in the story also play extremely important roles but because they aren’t telling the story we can’t completely understand their motivations.

I don’t want to go too deeply into the storyline because I don’t want to risk jading the experience for anyone who goes on to read this. I think it’s important to go into this one without too many preconceived ideas.

The story follows Catriona and Diana in alternating chapters, told in the third person and each chapter is dated so that we can follow the timeline of what’s going on with both families but there is a lot of overlap so quite often the beginning of a new chapter takes you back in time to look at the other woman’s life.

Beautifully written and beautifully paced Amanda Ortlepp has created a stunning debut that will leave you questioning your parenthood beliefs and deeply contemplating all the shades of grey. I love this book and think Ortlepp has done a fantastic job of coming up with a very unique storyline, it is certainly something I haven’t read before.

I would definitely recommend this book, to all parents present and future though perhaps not those looking into embryo donation in the near future. Ortlepp explored so many interesting aspects of people, relationships and perspectives. Situations aren’t always what they seem and some people are extremely good at showing themselves in the best light – which sometimes means they are far from who they claim to be.

A selection of our lucky readers will be reading Claiming Noah as part of the Beauty and Lace Book Club so I will be interested to see what they have to say about the book.

Please be advised that there may be spoilers contained in the comments below.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter.

Claiming Noah is Book #10 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.

35 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Claiming Noah

  1. Having witnessed couples using IVF treatment for several months before success and the stress it caused I can relate to parts of this.
    Post Natal Depression is also a huge problem, an escalation of hormone triggers, being sleep deprived and very little time to do what they had always loved to do to unwind was just too much for the new Mums to cope with. It reveals that if you need help, you use it.
    I would love to review this book after I have gained a better insight of the true severity of the situations

  2. Another brilliant review from Michelle – wonderfully written and able to give thinking time for those of us fortunate enough to be able to apply for a copy to review. As always, Michelle’s review is detailed enough to give the potential reader enough information without spoiling anything in the novel. We are really fortunate to have Michelle’s incredible skill with reviewing which gives us a realistic option of deciding whether this and other great books will be for us, or whether we should leave the book for someone else.

    Thanks, Michelle and Beauty and Lace – your thoughts are appreciated.

  3. As someone that didn’t have to go through any IFVs to have babies, I can’t imagine how people deal with this in their lives to actually have a baby of their own. The only hard time I found falling pregnant was having a miscarriage on my first baby.

    I’ve had friends go down the IVF programme and they have dealt with it all.

    Your exceptional writing of the book Michelle makes me want to know more about this actual book. I have heard about this book on some tv show and it seemed intriguing then.

  4. I would love the opportunity to review this book, I have many friends who have been through IVF and applaud those brace enought to do it and also those who donate eggs. I feel I would be able to give an objective review of this book and look forward to hearing if I will be apart of this panel.

  5. I would love to read this story as after the brief introduction it has sparked my interest in wanting to know how couples deal with these situations and the mental strain they must go through. How do they cope making these decisions which affect their life? To read and open my mind.

  6. I would be very interested to review this book. I have had some dear friends that have gone through the IVF process, with all their ups and downs, expenditure and intense emotional rollercoaster – I would be most interested to review this book and give my honest opinion as to its content and how much I felt the author portrayed the characters

  7. Claiming Noad was beautifully written, Catriona and Diana went throught so much to have their babies as many women do, I was lucky enought to conceive naturally thank goodness and suffered no post natal depression, I sort of guessed at the end of chapter 11 that James had kidnapped Diana’s baby but had no idea that Sebastian had died from sids, this book raised some very points on moral and legal issues that arise with ivf programs was a beautiful ending after the traumatic court case seeing the mothers getting on and was great to see Catriona have a baby was a suprise also was a lovely book to read Thanks

  8. Claiming Noah. Normally I’m not a fast reader but this book was read in one day because I just couldn’t put it down! It’s set in Sydney and begins with Catriona and James and their struggles to become parentsby IVF. I could only imagine the trauma they felt and the elation finally having their own son. Meanwhile Diana and Liam struggling with fertlity issues also having success with the same proceedures and finally the birth of Noah. This book traces these couples where issues of post natal depression and heartbreaking loss effect these two families. There is saddness, blame, betrayal and deceit within the pages. I would challenge anyone who reads this to not feel emotion. It is touching and easy to understand the feelings of all the characters. I could say so much more but would give the plot away, this is a book which is well written, absorbing and you tend to put yourself in the place of the characters. II am now looking forward to more books by Amanda Ortlepp!

  9. Thank you for being able to review Claiming Noah. It is a very poignant story and extremely well written. I had no idea how I would feel reading this, but to find that I am horrified at the decision’s made by some of the characters as well as finding that I am so curious and intrigued, thoroughly unsettled me. I found it most strange to wonder how James did what he did (right our of character) as well as how Liam reacted. How would I react to this situation? Hard to say, but I did think that perhaps I would expect James to react like Liam and vice versa. Once I discovered what had actually happened and I was only half way through the book, I thought, well what could happen now. But it made sense. Much applause to Diana, very courageous! Is this Amandas first book?? Really, great work! I look forward to seeing more, would make a great movie! Regards Katrina

  10. Wow, what a gut wrenching read. I don’t think I could put this bok down. I am a mum of a beautiful 2 year old boy but my life began on a very different note. I suffered deeply from post natal depression so I feel the very pain of Catriona and I know the depths of darkness to which PND takes you. But knowing what I do now and coming out the other end and having this amazing little boy whom I created before me, to have to endure losing this very blessing in my life? utterly SOUL DESTROYING.
    You cannot help but feel for both these women in this amazing story- for totally different reasons. Well done Amanda Ortlepp 🙂

  11. This is a powerfully emotional novel. I’m not sure that some of the things depicted in the novel around embryo donation could actually happen in Australia. However, the real crux of the novel is the relationship between parent and child, and that is realistically and powerfully drawn. Very few people will be unable to sympathise with Diana, and later Catriona, as their worlds come crashing down around them. Although the focus of the novel is largely Diana and Catriona, their husbands’ feelings are also touched on. They’re not as powerfully drawn, but are nevertheless important.

    Many people who have been through IVF are faced with the question of embryo donation. It’s a difficult one; it’s effectively giving away one of your children, however altruistic your motives. Realistically too, there are questions about, for example, what happens if your child and your “child” meet unknowingly and form a relationship. “Claiming Noah” plays heavily on those troubling questions by throwing in a whole new set of nightmare questions. For that reason, a whole lot of readers are going to find it quite mesmerising.

    This is a highly readable and engaging novel, and I suspect most readers will find it hard to put down. I don’t think many people will really be all that surprised to find out what happened to Noah – there are plenty of clues – but the detail is intriguing and the emotional journey of the characters carries you with them. Strong characterisation is a big strength of this book.

    There’s no doubt that IVF is a wonderful thing for many people, and equally there’s no doubt that there are some serious issues around it. In that sense, this is a very topical novel, although as I said, I doubt a donation scenario would play out in exactly this way in Australia. The novel doesn’t really explore the issues around IVF and donation in a great deal of detail.

    Overall, I’d say this is a novel well worth reading. It’s very well written, and will keep you on the edge of your seat for considerable periods of time. It is also likely to get you thinking about some of the broader issues around parenthood, family arrangements, and IVF. This would be a novel that would be great for a book club, as I bet it would promote some very lively debate.

  12. Thanks for the opportunity to review this great book 🙂 Claiming Noah was very well written, making it easy to read and hard to put down. I enjoyed the story being told from the perspective of Diana, followed by the perspective of Catriona, alternating back and forth throughout the book. I think this touches on some very important issues, including postnatal depression, IVF, embryo donation, and how all of these things can affect a family. I felt like I couldn’t put the book down because it is such a compelling story. I suspected the book would end in the way it did, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to continue reading. I think the character development is fantastic and I enjoyed getting glimpses of the fathers and their actions / feelings. It’s a book that makes you think about what you would do in that situation, so it is quite thought provoking. I’ve already recommended the book a number of times. Great job to Amanda on her first book and I look forward to when her next book comes out!

  13. I have just finished reading Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp, and I think that this was a pretty good novel. It is not a book that will feel you leaving all warm and fuzzy, however, it will certainly get you thinking!
    I initially didn’t like the way that Catriona’s character was portrayed; it felt like she was forcing herself to have kids, and I don’t think this worked well in her favour. By the end of the novel, the author had redeemed Catriona’s character to a more likeable personality (in my opinion.)
    I did sympathise more with Diana, particularly as she was treated for the most part like dirt by her husband.
    I found some parts of the novel difficult to believe, the erasing of certain medical files and hacking etc was a bit far-fetched for my liking.
    But having said that, the book is a page turner and I would recommend it to those who like family/drama genre’s.
    I loved the epilogue; it was my favourite part of the book.
    I would’ve liked to read more about Noah. Even though he was the main point of focus in the book for both sets of couples, I felt that he wasn’t involved or included in the story as much as I would’ve liked.
    The ending was a little predictable, as others have mentioned but it was a good ending nonetheless.
    Oh, and I loved the characters Tom and partner Jerry. I thought they were a welcome breath of fresh air!
    Overall, I would give this book about a 3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
    Thanks for the opportunity to review this book.

  14. WOW! What a book! I started reading it after dinner one night and didn’t put it down until midnight – that’s when my husband reminded me that I had to go to work the next day – stupid work! When I got home the next day, I finished what was left in about an hour.

    I thought the story was amazing. I didn’t go down the road of IVF, but it was the next step for me if I didn’t get pregnant when I did. I can fully sympathise with what it’s like to wait month after month hoping that you’ll be pregnant and finding out that you aren’t. I also think that I had post natal depression, but it wasn’t diagnosed, although that wasn’t because I didn’t accept it, it just wasn’t recognised.

    This book kept me going because although I though I could work out the story, I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen. I did start to get frustrated towards the end when I was thinking that it wouldn’t explain how James got the information, but my patience was rewarded.

    I thought it was interesting the way that Catriona forgave James -she was very brave and in the same situation I don’t know that I could have been as forgiving, but I guess that’s what love does to you! I also loved the way that Catriona could still be a part of Noah’s life and the way Noah found out about his situation.

    Overall, I loved this book and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Thank you for allowing me to review this book >:o)

  15. I have just finished reading this book within 2 days of starting and could not put it down as it was such a compelling read. From the first chapter I was filled with trepidation at how this story was going to pan out. Reading further into the novel I found we were following the lives of two main characters named Catriona and Diana and their families. It was a territory of dealing with IVF’s and embryo donations and post natal depression and of course romance and lies within each family.

    I found this book to be endearing, suspenseful, emotionally draining for the feelings of the two mothers in question, captivating and inspiring. Amanda Ortlepp has written the storyline beautifully and the picture on the cover is exceptional for the title.

    Once halfway into the storyline, I could sympathise for both Catriona and Diana with what they had to endure to prove that both of them were the mother of Noah.

    I don’t want to give too much away with the storyline but I do want to say, I fell in love with Sebastian and what a hard life he had to endure in his first few months.

    I was besotted with all the other characters in the book and how the story all unfolded in the end. I knew there had to be a happy ending but with which character, that I had to keep reading and see for myself.

    I found this book to be so heart warming and definitely a 5 star read. I am sure this book would also benefit others that do want to go down the track of IVF or even embryo donations. It would certainly open your eyes.

    Thank you to Beauty & Lace and also Simon & Schuster for giving me this book to read. I loved it and am still thinking of both Catriona & Diana as if they are real people that I have met.

  16. What a thought provoking book Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp is. I found I read it really quickly as the words just flowed and the storyline kept me intrigued. All the characters were wonderfully written, complex and slightly flawed.
    The only thing that I didn’t love in the book was Catriona forgiving James. I guess love knows no boundaries sometimes but it would be a lot for me to forgive.
    All in all a book that touches on IVF, embryo donation, postnatal depression, fidelity and the complexities of family and relationships.
    Would definitely recommend for anyone to read 🙂

  17. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book.
    I found Claiming Noah a book that was enthralling, and it kept me reading when I should have been doing other things!
    At the start, I found it difficult to adjust to which couple was which, but once into the story that settled down. It is very emotional, following the two women who both get pregnant with medical aid – one by IVF and the other with Embryo transplant. I found it interesting to read that with embryo transplant, the couple adopts the foetus legally.
    The book also touches on the religious beliefs of these methods of conception and peoples differing views on it.
    When baby Noah is kidnapped, the story portrays very well the anguish the whole family experiences, and how this has a long term effect. I found this believable, and well written. (and heart wrenching)
    I correctly guessed the direction the plot was heading, and the ending was as I expected, but I felt it finished things up well, by showing that sometimes people forgive, share, love, and hate depending on their character, and everyone thinks and feels and behaves differently.
    What could have been an extremely heavy subject matter has been handled well in an easy to read and mostly believable way, with enough medical information to not bog the reader down, and learn a few things along the way.
    Well written. Interesting subject. Food for thought.

    Thank you for allowing me to take part in this book review

  18. I was thrilled to recieve Claiming Noah to review for the book club. It is certainly a novel that tackles many emotional and complex issues, all the while exploring relationships between parents and child, and couples too. I found it tackled difficult and somewhat taboo issues such as mental health with respect, honesty and empathy. It also springs multiple plot twists on the reader. Just when you think you know how things will go, there’s another surprise to keep you guessing. And I love that in a book!
    It is certainly not a feel good read, but it throws up many confronting and thought provoking questions. Fertility issues, mental health, family court battles, all are very much part of our modern life, and possibly only more so in the future. Having kids of my own, my heart ached for both Diana, and then Catriona in turn. What unimaginable suffering they went through, things that no one should have to bear.

    Overall, a fantastic if emotionally exhausting novel that I will be recommending to my friends and family. Thanks so much Beauty and Lace for allowing me to be part of the book club. I’ll look forward to more of Amanda Ortlepp’s work!

  19. Wow what a book, I just couldn’t put it down. Having suffered fertility issues myself, I found that I could easily relate to the main characters, although I think anyone could have easily put themselves in their shoes as the characters were so well written.

    This book was quite emotional especially when the mothers fight through the legal system over Noah/Sebstian as nothing is held back. This book has a great story line with many twists and plots, but ending with a good outcome for everyone involved.

    I would have loved just a little more information about the birth of Catrionas second baby – Leo, such as whether she suffered PND in any form,how did she prepare for the birth and her thoughts on protecting him from her in case her psychosis re-occurs, SIDS or even James with him being in jail.

    I can honestly say this book took me on an emotional journey with some highs and definitely some low lows, and even after I had finished reading it, it has stayed in my mind since. Its the sort of book that makes you sit back and ponder the darker side of fertility issues, IVF and PND.

    I think Amanda Ortlepp s a talented author, and look forward to reading more of her writing.

  20. Thankyou for the opportunity to reveiw this book. Firstly, I found this book confronting, in a good way. I was on the verge of panic for a good portion of the book. A mothers love is so strong that I can only imagine how crazy I would get if I lost my child. Amanda wrote this book so well, the feelings were expressed superbly. I was angry, then sad, then angry, sad then happy. It was an absolute roller coaster ride for the emotions. Being an Aussie author is a great plus too. Love seeing Aussies doing well in their fields and Amanda has done a great job.

  21. The desire to have a child and become a family is a very strong one for many woman and I was very lucky to be able to have three beautiful children with out having to deal with the stresses of fertility treatments, IVF or adoption but Im very aware of the stress that comes along with all of those options. My parents adopted one of my brothers and in those days it wasnt set in concrete that the child was yours until after the one year check by the welfare department and my Mum told me years later that she lived in fear for the first year that the birth mother would change her mind and want her baby back. I have a wonderful friend who has gone through the adoption process and I had a friend when I was 16 who gave her child up for adoption. I have a good friend who under went fertility treatment and gave birth to twins who then passed away. they then tried again and again had twins but this time they were fine. I also know of woman who have undergone IVF.
    With all that being said I found this book to be one that grabbed me emotionally. I felt for both the leading woman and I felt connected to them both. Diana’s partner was very familiar to me in my own experience and I found that often i felt angry with him and wished i could slap him. I guess thats a sign of a good book when I become connected to characters and angry with others.
    I found that this story had me questioning what was right and what was wrong and then when i thought that i felt I knew the answer I would requestion and understand that sometimes things are just not as easy as a wrong and a right.
    If you are looking for a great book to read for the upcoming 4 days weekend then this would be perfect. I had my daughter visiting for the past 2 weeks so I found that i couldnt just sit and read all the time but when I wasnt reading I was thinking about my book and wanting to get back it.

  22. I loved Claiming Noah. Amanda Ortlepp’s writng style was easy to read & explained the factual parts (Like the IVF treatment) without going into every minute detail.

    The central characters, Catriona & Diana were relateable to me as a mother & even though I have never had fertility struggles I could still empathise with their emotions as mothers, wives, daughters & women trying to keep it all together.

    I wondered if Amanda intended to leave a cloud of uncertainty over how Sebastian really died ( I thought it would come out that he really died that day in the bath, not from SIDS).

    Overall I enjoyed Claiming Noah immensely & will be recommending it to my friends. Thanks for the opportunity to review this great book.

  23. Wow! I really enjoyed this book. Found it easy to read and captivating, couldn’t put it down! This book will really make you think. You will feel like picking a side, but you will bounce back and forth only to realise there is no side. Two woman who both go though something unimaginable, and yet in the end deal with here situation in way that will impress anyone. what they go through is heartbreaking. Definitely recommend this book.

  24. After reading everyone else’s reviews of Claiming Noah I have to agree. Amanda Ortlepp has written this novel very well and has carefully researched the subjects raised.
    IVF, Embryo Donation, Adoption and Post Natal Depression are all strongly portrayed.
    I really loved the way the storyline brought both couples alive to me. Heartbreak on the loss of a child from SIDS, Kidnapping and court appointments, these are all touched on.
    This book was one of only a few I can honestly say I did not put down until I finished reading and have already passed my copy on and asked for it to be continued to be passed on, for as many people to read it as possible, I believe it is such a good read.

  25. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book –it was a really good read – I was hooked in and finished it in 8 days which is quick for me.

    At first I didn’t like the style of writing but after a few chapters I got into it and enjoyed the style. The writing is quite large and spaced out so the book really isn’t as long as it looks, and you can get through a chapter quickly.

    I really like that the book swapped between the two main characters so we got the stories from both their point of views and saw how they were both feeling. The only thing is the dates did not run in chronological order which I found a bit confusing and was constantly flicking back to see if what this character was doing was before or after the last chapter I read about the other character.
    It was a captivating read with an emotional storyline. I found myself going between hating and loving all the main characters except for Diana who was always quite an amicable character.

    The prologue was very thought provoking and it was a sweet ending. I would have liked a little more information on the birth of Catriona’s 2nd child Leo in regards to how that went for her but I like that it leaves a little to the imagination.

    I’ve already passed the book onto my mum who has started reading it, and I might pass it around my friends. Aside from being a great read it is also about providing awareness of issues that can affect mothers (Post natal depression/psychosis that is)

  26. Two couples.
    Couple One, Catriona and James are desperate for children and are on the IVF program. After having the second try at IVF they donate their remaining embryo to a couple in need.
    Couple Two, Diana and Liam who can’t have kids naturally and are on an embryo waiting list are thrilled to finally get the chance to have their own baby.
    Two couples who become two sets of parents with their own stories to tell beautifully woven into one story. With each couple you feel their joy and heartache and it’s almost as if you know them.
    I found the journeys of both families were so wonderfully written but I did work out what happened by the time the supermarket scene was working its way to my eyes. Although I thought a different fate had taken Sebastian with the same result.
    This is a story about love and hate, strength and weakness, life and death, relationships and endings. It is a story that will touch every parent and grandparent and those wanting to be parents.
    I think each person reading will find something different to tug at them.

  27. My close friend had undergone IVF and though I was there when she needed me, I couldnt fully understand how tenuous, frightening and complex the experience was till I read “Claiming Noah”. Had tears in my eyes more than once reading the struggle and pain both Catriona and Diana had to go through.
    Loved the beautiful way that both these strong women came through a truly harrowing experience to work together for the good of Noah and ultimately enriched their own lives as well. Was really glad Diana left Liam! I couldn’nt understand why someone like him would even want a kid though.
    Was a beautiful read that took me through the new and wonderful and heartbreaking world of modern child conception without getting too technical.

  28. Claiming Noah was the best book I have read in a very long time. As someone who spent years trying to conceive our first child I felt like I could really identify with Catriona and Diana. The author captured the emotion that comes with fertility struggles very well. I found myself really putting myself into both catriona and Diana’s shoes and wondering how I would react in each situation which is the sign of a great book. Puerperal psychosis is something I didn’t know much about and I thank the author for bringing up such an important subject. Hopefully anyone reading who may be going through similar will have the courage to get help.
    The custody battle was heart wrenching but I felt that it all ended perfectly. Two amazing women both getting to play a part in raising this wonderful young boy. I will be recommending the book to all of my friends.
    Well done Amanda on a fantastic novel.

  29. Thankyou for the opportunity to read “Claiming Noah”, this book was so good I could not put it down. This book really gives a good insight into IVF. Catriona and James’ decision to donate a embryo to another couple would have been a very hard dilemma, at the time they thought they were doing a great thing for another couple who also were unable to conceive naturally.
    Although it would have been a very hard decision, I agree with the judge’s decision to grant sole custody to Diana and Liam. I did feel sorry for Catriona, who also deserved to be Noah’s mother.
    Diana is an amazing woman to invite Catriona to remain part of Noah’s life.
    Amanda Ortlepp has written a great emotional book and has obviously researched everything from IVF, post natal depression, puerperal psychosis and embryo donation.
    I would definitely recommend this book.

  30. I loved this book with a passion and thank you for the opportunity to read such an exhilarating book.

    This book made we aware of IVF, something I have never really thought about, even though I have never been able to have children of my own. I thought about adoption in the past but not IVF.

    The two main characters Catriona and James’ decision to donate a embryo to another couple would have been a very hard dilemma and so selfless.

    I was surprised by the turn of events especially relating to how Sebastian died. I thought Sebastian had died in the bath and not from SIDS, that was a real surprise.

    The twists and turns kept on coming helping to keep the reader totally enthralled. I found it very difficult to put it down and just wanted to keep on reading it. Beautifully written and executed. An amazing read.

  31. Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp is a totally enthralling read. It held me entranced from the very first paragraph.

    At times I could relate to the unfortunate diagnoses of Catriona as I had felt similar after my son was born. So I felt sympathy but then anger after what she did to Sebastian.

    The story had had an excellent outcome, even if predictable.

    An very good novel and would recommend it highly.

  32. Claiming Noah was an absolute fantastic read and I could not put this book down. I was captivated from the get go and fell in love with the characters and storyline.

    The novel was full of twists and turns throughout but in the end, everyone got what they deserved and I was beaming when I finished the book.

    There was so much emotion in Ortlepp’s writing style and I felt so connected to the characters and really understood them and empathised with them.

    Having no children of my own as yet, it was unknown to me how difficult it really is to conceive and start a family, but more than that, it really opened my eyes to the lengths some may go to make that happen.

    The two main characters Catriona and Diana have alternating chapters with their stories on the difficulties of conceiving and what they personally go through when they do start their families.

    The novel not only touched on fertility difficulties but also the hardship parents can go through in their own marriages. I really empathised with both couples and the stresses they endured. It was really upsetting when Sebastian passed away and what James did to hide it from his wife when she was already going through her own personal difficulties adjusting to motherhood.

    The legal battle was quite stressful to read knowing that both mothers deserved Noah, but what I loved most was at the end when Diana allowed Catriona to see Noah and spend time with him.

    All in all, this was a beautiful novel which I have told many friends and family about. I look forward to sharing this novel and one day picking it up again to read.

    Thank you Beauty & Lace for having me part of the book club and a huge thank you to Amanda Ortlepp for a fantastic read!

  33. Elements of this novel would no doubt resonate with those who have experienced or are currently experiencing the heartaches and heartbreaks associated with infertility. The characters are, on the whole, believable and the motivations for their actions are also believable. Nonetheless, I found some of the situations and circumstances ‘a bit of a stretch’. I just couldn’t see certain things logically happening in Australia today without questions being asked by family/friends/authorities (I won’t elaborate for fear of spoilers!). I found myself asking…”How could that possibly happen?” one too many times…

    Yes, it was a good read. No, I didn’t want to put it down once I’d started, but I do think there were a few flaws in the plot that could have been addressed!

  34. Well written and a ook that wa hard to put down Claiming Noah was one of the best reads I’ve come across in the last 6 months. So many parts of thisbok resonated with me personally – I have conceived twice and miscarried twice. Earlier this year I tried to conceive again without any luck. The relationship hardships and strains were easy to identify with as my partner and I split up this time and know we will never be a couple again. Such arelatable book I’ve recommended to friends and family – both who have exerienced similar issues and those that havent.

  35. What an amazing story.

    Claiming Noah is one book i could not put down. I do not know anyone that has gone through an experience like this. It was difficult to put down, i would recommend it to anyone.

    The central characters are realistic, they really draw me in making them easy to relate to.

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