Review – The No-Kids Club by Talli Roland

By | August 6, 2014

At almost forty, Clare Donoghue is living child-free and loving it.

Then her boyfriend says he wants kids, breaking off their promising relationship. And it’s not just boyfriends: one by one, her formerly carefree friends are swallowed up in a nonstop cycle of play dates and baby groups. So Clare decides it’s time for people who don’t have children to band together. And so the No-Kids Club is born.

As the group comes together—Anna, who’s seeking something to jumpstart a stale marriage, and Poppy, desperate for a family but unable to conceive—Clare’s hoping to make the most of the childless life with her new friends.

Will the No-Kids Club be Clare’s route to happiness, or will the single life lose its sparkle?

As I started writing a review of this lovely book, it just made me think how wonderfully varied my reading is – as you’ll see if you look back at the last few months’ reviews.  I know that there are reviewers who would never pick up contemporary women’s fiction – and then there are others who never review anything else. But I only have one rule – any book I read and think about reviewing must be well written, and that high standard of writing can be found as readily in contemporary women’s fiction (call it “chicklit” if you will…) as in other genres.  

And Talli Roland is a mistress of her art.  I’m not a long-term fan, I only really discovered her through last year’s wonderful short read Last Christmas, but I have her other books on my Kindle just waiting for that moment when another of her books is just what I need.

This book was an absolute joy from beginning to end.  Clare is a beautifully drawn character – as I’m (by choice) a childless person, I identified immediately with her need to get away from babies and children and everything connected with them, and the whole idea of setting up the No-Kids Club is quite inspired.  My heart ached for Anna with her disinterested husband and her plans for putting everything right with some time in Venice: Poppy’s determination to have a child is made understandable, even if her actions are less so, and you really feel her pain. 

There’s a bit of everything in this book – secrets and lies, betrayal, friendship, a touch of romance, heartbreaking moments – but also a lot of well-judged humour. The characters are really well drawn, real people you can feel for, and I was sorry to leave them behind when the book ended. A thoroughly lovely read by an author who does what she does so incredibly well – go on, live a little, give Talli Roland’s books a try…

My thanks to the author (and I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to it!) and netgalley for my e-copy.  The No-Kids Club was published by Lake Union Publishing on 3 June.

Talli Roland writes fun, romantic fiction. Born and raised in Canada, Talli now lives in London, where she savours the great cultural life (coffee and wine).

Despite training as a journalist, Talli soon found she preferred making up her own stories–complete with happy endings. Talli’s debut novel The Hating Game was short-listed for Best Romantic Read at the UK’s Festival of Romance, while her second, Watching Willow Watts, was selected as an Amazon Customer Favourite. Her novels have also been chosen as top books of the year by industry review websites and have been bestsellers in Britain and the United States.

To learn more about Talli, go to her website or follow Talli on Twitter and Facebook. Talli also has an excellent blog.