I was really keen to read this book, the sequel to Baby, Baby, which I very much enjoyed and reviewed earlier this year here.
Like that first book, The Labyrinth Year is an intelligent, balanced and compassionate presentation of the potential conflict between religious fundamentalism and scientific advances in fertility treatment and genetics. Conflicting issues are presented via an engaging, likeable and interesting mix of characters. My favourites were Max, the GP whose father is a fundamentalist preacher; his geneticist wife Jenny; and her new-agey irrepressible half-sister Daisy, whose project to build a mystical labyrinth binds the elements of the story together.
As the story makes clear, if it’s hard enough for parents to raise children while working full time in demanding jobs, without having to accommodate conflicting beliefs and blended families stuffed with secrets, no matter how much husband and wife are naturally drawn to each other.
As with Baby, Baby, this is a complex and well-written novel that delves beyond sensationalist headlines surrounding genetic research and tackles the real human issues that lie beneath, in a subtle, empathetic way and with genuine compassion.
In summary, a rewarding read for anyone who enjoys novels with a scientific theme, or discussion about the conflict of religion and science, or who loves a family saga weaving together and resolving conflicts between realistic and well-drawn characters. Highly recommended.
For more information about Mari Howard, visit her website: www.marihowardauthor.wordpress.com.