Set in and around Glasgow, Buy Buy Baby is a moving and funny story of life, loss and longing.
Packed full of bitchy banter, if follows the bittersweet quest of two very different women united by the same desire - they 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 ate internet dating, she feels there is a baby-shaped hole in her life.
In steps Dan, a total charmer with a solution to their problems.
But only if they are willing to pay the price, on every level ......
Buy Buy Baby by Helen MacKinven was published by Cranachan Publishing on 7 July 2016 and is the author's second novel. Her first, The Talk of the Toun was published in October last year.
Buy Buy Baby is a sharp and witty story that deals with some emotional issues. I haven't read Helen MacKinven's first novel, but I follow her on social media and I like her! I'm really happy to host her Blog Tour for Buy Buy Baby today.
The two central characters, Julia and Carol share a dream. They both want to become a mother, and that's all that they really have in common.
Carol was a mother, she isn't any more.
Her young son died and she spends her days talking to his dog Jinky, talking to women in a similar situation in online forums and spending too much money on eBay ... whilst drinking wine.
Julia is single-minded, with a great job, but not a lot of money. She's had a string of dates with guys she's met through internet dating sites. She recounts the gory details of her encounters to her friends, appearing to laugh along with them, but it's clear that inside, she is being to feel desperate.
Carol's story is told largely in the form of her journal, and this works really well, enabling the reader to learn more about her, and her background. Helen MacKinven gets right to the heart of Carol's sorrow as her words tumble on to the pages, to be read by nobody, and so so personal.
Along comes Dan, the guy who appears to be the answer to their prayers, but don't be fooled.
Buy Buy Baby is a modern, up-to-date novel, written with wit and perception. The author deals elegantly with issues that are discomforting at times, but she does it with incredible understanding and compassion. It is quite a gift to incorporate humour alongside darkness without appearing to undermine the importance of the themes of the story.
This is a well plotted story with characters who are vibrant and brilliantly drawn and I love the humour and the essence of Glasgow that is central. However, I do struggle with dialect and although not all of the dialogue is written this way, some of it it. This is purely a personal thing, something that is my failing as a reader, and certainly not a criticism of this clever author, lets face it, dialect hasn't done any harm to the career of Irvine Welsh and lots of readers love it. I do think that it's worth mentioning though, but don't let it put you off .. please.
Stylish, imaginative and witty, Buy Buy Baby comes with a recommendation from me.
My thanks to the author and publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in the blog tour.
Helen MacKinven writes contemporary Scottish fiction and graduated with merit from Stirling University with an MLitt in Creative Writing in 2012.
Her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and literary journals such as Gutter magazine.
Helen's debut novel Talk of the Toun was published by Thunderpoint in 2015.
For more information about Helen and her writing, visit www.helenmackinven.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter @HelenMacKinven