A magna cum laude graduate of UCLA, Cassandra Harte never took a test she couldn’t ace. So when her home pregnancy test comes back negative, she’s certain the kit’s defective.
Failure has never been an option for Cassandra. She has a well-established career, a handsome husband (Nick), and a lovely home. But there’s one thing Cassandra desperately wants that she doesn’t have: A baby.
After trying for months to get pregnant without success, she starts to wonder if she’s finally met a challenge she cannot conquer. Determined to conceive, she creates an ovulation calendar so she can seize that perfect 24-hour window. When that fails, she sends up fervent prayers. But it soon becomes apparent that her inability to become pregnant has nothing to do with timing or faith, and everything to do with Renee, her diabolical, thirteen-year-old stepdaughter.
What’s It About?
Cassandra and Nick Harte are married, and raising his two step-kids, when they decide they would like to have a baby of their own. Cassandra’s wish for a child consumes her every thought, and when she finds out her former neighbors are expecting, she can’t help but to feel envious. Why them? Why not her?!
Stress at home isn’t helping… Their thirteen year old, Renee, is showing signs of an emotional disturbance, and Nick is pulling away from Cass, focusing his attention on Renee.
“My life’s totally out of control – and all because of one demon seed teenager.”
Meanwhile, someone from the past is making their way back into the lives of the Harte family, posing a serious threat to the well-being of their imperfect family.
Will Cassandra ever fulfill her dreams of having a baby? Or will her step-daughter, Renee, get in the way?
Initially, I really enjoyed this story, and probably would have finished it within one afternoon if I didn’t have other commitments. The plot of The Baby In The Window hooked me immediately, and I had a hard time putting it down. The story-line, characters, and general atmosphere of the story, (world-building), all added up to a cozy world that I lost myself in.
But then Cassandra lost me… after only a few months of trying, she was going to her GYN for fertility drugs, and generally obsessing over having a child, when there were larger things going in in their lives. Meanwhile, her husband’s stepdaughter, (who lives with them), is showing signs of mental illness, and their response is to be rid of her… ship her off to a foster home, or to live with her deceased mother’s parents, (who live across the country). I was so unbelievably upset with this choice they made. As parents, they surmised that she had bipolar disorder, (she was going through counseling, but made no major breakthroughs, and was never given a proper diagnosis from a psychiatrist). Mom and Dad of the year they were NOT.
Renee had problems, and their “solution” to pass her off was hardly for her own benefit; It was for their own. Am I supposed to route for Cassandra and Nick to have a child when they act in such a deplorable way? I was so upset with this turn of events that it made me angry to continue reading.
Not to say that Renee was an angel, because she certainly wasn’t. My problem is because she was built up to be the villain in this story, based on her mental illness. This offends me because I have bipolar disorder, and I know from personal experience that bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, not a “bad person” disorder. I couldn’t detach myself from this, and I wish the story didn’t take this turn.
***I received a copy of The Baby In The Window in exchange for a fair, honest, and thoughtful book review. My rating is based on factors that include, plot, world building, characters, and personal taste. I would recommend this novel to fans of contemporary, multi-cultural women’s fiction.***
Alretha Thomas recently landed a four-book deal with Soul Mate Publishing. “Married in the Nick of Nine,” the first novel in her Cass & Nick series is now available on Amazon. The three remaining books in the series will be released as follows: The Baby in the Window, October 2014. One Harte, Two Loves, January 2015, and Renee’s Return, April 2015.
Shortly after graduating from USC with a degree in journalism, Alretha soon realized her interest in her major was not heartfelt. Instead of writing news stories, she wanted to write plays and books. Several years later, her church gave her an outlet to fulfill her writing desires through their Liturgical Fine Arts Department wherein Alretha penned twelve theatre pieces—the community response was overwhelming.
This led to plays outside of the church, including Alretha’s “One, Woman Two Lives,” starring Kellita Smith (The Bernie Mac Show), directed by four-time NAACP Image Award Best Director recipient, Denise Dowse. The production garnered rave reviews from critics and audiences.
In between plays, Alretha’s first novel, “Daughter Denied,” was launched in 2008 and in 2011, Alretha launched “Dancing Her Dreams Away.” Her third novel, “Married in the Nick of Nine,” was launched in 2012 and spawned a four-book standalone series affectionately known as the Cass & Nick Series. In 2014, Soul Mate Publishing acquired all four books. The first book, “Married in the Nick of Nine” is scheduled for release in the summer of 2014.The remaining novels in the series, “The Baby in the Window,” “One Harte, Two Loves,” and “Renee’s Return” are forthcoming. “Four Ladies Only” is Alretha’s third indie novel. –Goodreads Author BIO