Everybody's Baby by Lydia Netzer


Title: Everybody's Baby
Author: Lydia Netzer
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: June 3, 2013
ISBN: 9781466867840
Number of Pages: 133
How I Got It: Alison Law PR
Format: Kindle

Goodreads Summary: 

Jenna and Billy are in love.  He's an app developer, a hyper-plugged-in citizen of the internet, with a big Scottish family and winning smile.  She is a yoga teacher, tuned in to the vibes of the spiritual universe, who was abandoned by her mother as an infant and orphaned by her father's recent death.  When they meet, it's electric, and it is no time before they are married and eager to start their own family.  But when they can't get pregnant, Billy devises a plan:  they would raise funds for their in vitro fertilization on Kickstarter, offering donor perks like cutting the cord, naming the baby, and catching the baby when it takes its first steps.

The good news is that they make their fundraising goal, get pregnant and have a baby! The bad news is that their marriage begins to fall apart when they have to deliver on all those perks. It’s hard enough to survive delivering a baby without a performance artist making a documentary of the cord cutting. It’s difficult enough to get baby to sit up and smile for a six month portrait without a local politician taking up half the lens. What does it mean to be owned by the internet? Everybody's Baby explores how relationships grow and fail in public and private life, the hazards of living “in the cloud,” and the nature of love online and off.


My Review:
In our age of crowdfunding and constant technological tethers, boundaries are being crossed, blurred, or fully dismissed every day. We think it's so smart when a cinematograhper offers small parts in their film in exchange for funding but how far is too far. Netzer plays with the possibilities and emotions involved when personal interactions are auctioned off. In Jenna and Billy's desperation to have a baby, they've sold pieces of their family's future memories to strangers in exchange for a child. While Netzer provides laughs and writes logical responses to outlandish situations she also prompts a reader to contemplate their personal ethics and the ever changing worlds of technology, access, ownership, and reproduction.
A great novella, written in a great voice. I definitely recommend this read.

** I was provided with a copy of this work in exchange for an honest review **


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