Buy Buy Baby – Helen MacKinven

Carol and Julia are both single, thirty-something women who, for very different reasons, desperately want a baby.

Carol talks to her dog, has an expensive eBay habit and relies on wine to forget she’s no longer a mum following the death of her young son. Cheeky besom, Julia, is career-driven and appears to have it all, but after disastrous attempts at internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life. In steps the charming (or is he?) Dan with a very high-priced solution.

Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing. Packed full of bitchy banter, it follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire.

Following on from her very popular debut, Talk of The Toun, Helen MacKinven has produced a second very accessible, entertaining and witty novel, this time involving the complex issues of motherhood. Carol knows what it’s like to be a mum; Julia has to admit that her confirmed-childless state is no longer what she wants. There is grief and uncertainty alongside the humour. The costs – financial and emotional – and the expectations – of themselves and others – are, and the potential solutions, for all kinds of reasons, are nothing short of a gamble.

MacKinven’s protagonists are strong and determined woman. They’ve come through a lot, and as a reader I never doubted each would win through, I just didn’t know how. I didn’t always like Carol or Julia, but I was interested in them, and constantly asked – what would I do in their places. It’s a new slant on an age-old theme, and as such, is very appealing.

For the non-Scots readers (me included) don’t be put off by Carol’s dialect! It adds authenticity, is easy enough to understand and my only problem was that I couldn‘t recreate it in my head in her standard-English diary.

Buy Buy Baby is published by Cranachan Publishing.

Helen MacKinven blogs at and is on Twitter as @HelenMacKinven


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