Book Review: What We Carry, by Kalyn Fogarty

Image belongs to Alcove Press.

Cassidy Morgan’s life has always followed a carefully laid track: top education, fulfilling career, and marriage to the love of her life, Owen. The next logical step was starting a family. But when a late-term miscarriage threatens to derail everything she’s worked so hard for, she finds herself questioning her identity, particularly what it means to be a mother. Unable to move past her guilt and shame, she realizes there’s more to fix than a broken heart. Grief illuminates the weaknesses in her marriage and forces her to deal with her tumultuous relationship with her own mother.

Cassidy hopes her work as a veterinarian specializing in equine reproduction will distract her from the pain but instead finds that one of the cases she’s working on shines a spotlight on the memory of her unborn son. For once in her life, Cassidy is left untethered and wondering why she wanted to become a mother in the first place.

Then the unexpected happens when Cassidy becomes pregnant again. But the joy over her baby is tempered by her fear of another loss as well as her increasingly troubled marriage. Now, she must decide whether to let her pain hold her back or trust that there’s still something to live for.

I have to confess, I almost stopped reading this about 25% of the way through. Cassidy and her mother were some of the most selfish and oblivious people I’ve encountered, and they (especially the mother) were extremely off-putting to read. This family has issues. So much passive-aggressiveness in every interaction.

Cassidy’s loss and what she went through were well-done, although her hatefulness to people made her hard to sympathize with at times. Grief and loss are explored on the page, as well as healing, although Cassidy did not “deal with her tumultuous relationship” with her mother as the blurb says. There was very little of that.

Kalyn Fogarty is a professional horseback rider and an author. What We Carry is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Alcove Press in exchange for an honest review.)

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