Book review: The Two Week Wait

By Sarah Rayner
Published by Picador

I read One Moment, One Morning, the novel that brought Sarah Rayner into the spotlight, over two years ago and I still praise and recommend it at any given occasion. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity of reading an early copy of her latest novel, The Two Week Wait.

Like its predecessor, The Two Week Wait focuses on important – and often controversial – issues: motherhood and infertility. And – now as before – Sarah Rayner excels at dealing with such personal matters with compassion and understanding.

In Yorkshire, Cath and Rich are married and want to build a family. After two years spent fighting cancer, Cath is now healthy but, as a consequence of the illness, she can’t have children. In Brighton, Lou and Adam are both gay, single and wanting a child.

For different reasons, time is running out for these four adults to fulfil their desire and create a new life. Thanks to the advances in fertility treatments, however, they are in a position to help each other through the egg-sharing plan offered by a London clinic.

That is how, without even meeting in person (which, by the way, was a great choice to avoid getting over-sentimental), the two couples of would-be parents set out on a parallel journey of hope and faith, which culminates in the two week wait of the title. This is the decisive period that follows the embryo transfer and that will confirm whether a woman is pregnant or not.

Regardless of how things turn out for Cath, Rich, Lou and Adam – I’m not going to spoil the surprise! – The Two Week Wait is a well-researched novel that has a lot to teach. And I’m not only referring to the concepts of IVF, egg sharing etc. Through characters such as Cath’s sister-in-law and Lou’s mother and sister, Sarah Rayner tackles the scepticism and criticism that are far from being uncommon where fertility treatments are concerned.

If you’ve read One Moment, One Morning, this novel will feel like meeting old friends. If you haven’t, you have two whole novels to discover and enjoy. In both cases, you’re in for a treat!


  1. Sylvie, this is such a lovely review, I'm uploading it onto my website right away. I'm so happy you liked The Two Week Wait too, as I know how much you loved One Moment, One Morning.

  2. I am meant to be clearing my TBR lists this year and not adding to them, but after reading this lovely review how can I not add these titles to the wishlist!


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