Sunday, 21 July 2019

Only the Lonely by Joanne Nicholson


Only the Lonely by Joanne Nicholson
Self published on the 13th June 2019.

A 2019 New Release Challenge read and one of my 2019 COYER Summer Challenge reads


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After Tiffany is orphaned on the night of her 18th birthday, she discovers, as the sole heir to her parents’ estate, she has inherited a frozen embryo from when her parents did IVF to have her. Feeling lost, alone and longing for a sense of family, Tiffany can’t bring herself to destroy or donate the embryo. Instead, she decides to be impregnated with her biological twin.

A legal battle ensues over whether the embryo is a person or property and the ethics of whether it is acceptable to give birth to your own sibling.

 Set in Australia, this contemporary fiction novel is full of emotion, dilemmas and unexpected friendships, as Tiffany forges a new life without her parents.




Only The Lonely is a real heartbreaker of a novel. Nicholson takes her readers on an amazingly emotional rollercoaster with extreme highs followed by just as deep lows. I think the storyline would appeal to readers who enjoy novels by Amanda Prowse and Jodi Picoult because it explores unusual familial relationship ideas and portrays ways in which different people can come together to fulfil supportive roles. Tiffany was a difficult character for me to like and I think this is probably because we never get to see her at her best. She is often selfish and condemns other people for their actions before committing very similar actions herself and expecting to be excused. Having experienced parental bereavement myself I could understand her overwhelming grief and I thought Nicholson portrayed this sensitively.

Tiffany's need to come to terms with her new situation takes the first half of the novel so we don't approach the situation explained in the synopsis until the main characters have been well established. Personally I didn't agree with Tiffany's desire to give birth to the embryo because I didn't think she had considered the rights and needs of resulting child as a full person in its own right. Instead, her fervent desire to replace some idea of family is very raw and poignant. I unfortunately wasn't convinced by the circle involving Cathy and her son. I can see why Nicholson chose to take this route, but for me it was just too much emotional manipulation and I didn't feel the story needed these connections.

Only The Lonely isn't the sort of book I would usually choose so I'm glad that I did enjoy the read overall. It poses interesting ethical and philosophical questions and could make for a divisive book club choice.

Meet the author

Joanne Nicholson is an Australian author who enjoys boating, exercising, reading, writing, music and spending quality time with family and friends.

Joanne’s career began in advertising and marketing. After a hiatus to raise her four children, she owned an indoor play centre, worked in property management and bookkeeping. Joanne gave these up to focus on her passion for writing.

She has published the contemporary women’s fiction novels: ‘Intuition’, ‘In Another Life’ and ‘Positive’, as well as a YA novel ‘Music Score’ and several short stories. Her latest novel is ‘Only the Lonely’.

Author links: 
WebsiteFacebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram



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10 comments:

  1. This is something I have never considered would even be a thing, what a premise!

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    1. I know! Just trying to get my head around the legal implications was baffling, before we even got to ethical questions!

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  2. Hmm I wonder how many people have been in this kid of a predicament? Their parents die and they have to figure out what you to with embryos. Interesting story line.

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    1. It must be such an awful situation to be in, especially if it comes as a surprise like in Only The Lonely

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  3. Sounds like an interesting read. Very unique cover.

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    1. The striking cover sold me on the book before I even rsad the synopsis!

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  4. Definitely sounds like a very thought provoking read!

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    1. It is! And one where I found myself changing my opinion as the story progressed

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  5. The subjct matter is certainly timely and really interesting. It would be a nice read, I think.

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