Category Archives: What We Carry

Review: What We Carry by Kalyn Fogarty

Title: What We Carry by Kalyn Fogarty
Publisher: Alcove Press
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Fans of Caroline Leavitt will relish this rich, complex novel born of the author’s own loss and grief, about how one can overcome tragedy through bravery and self-discovery.

Cassidy Morgan’s life has always followed a carefully laid track: top education, fulfilling career, and marriage to the love of her life, Owen. The next logical step was starting a family. But when a late-term miscarriage threatens to derail everything she’s worked so hard for, she finds herself questioning her identity, particularly what it means to be a mother. Unable to move past her guilt and shame, she realizes there’s more to fix than a broken heart. Grief illuminates the weaknesses in her marriage and forces her to deal with her tumultuous relationship with her own mother.

Cassidy hopes her work as a veterinarian specializing in equine reproduction will distract her from the pain but instead finds that one of the cases she’s working on shines a spotlight on the memory of her unborn son. For once in her life, Cassidy is left untethered and wondering why she wanted to become a mother in the first place.

Then the unexpected happens when Cassidy becomes pregnant again. But the joy over her baby is tempered by her fear of another loss as well as her increasingly troubled marriage. Now, she must decide whether to let her pain hold her back or trust that there’s still something to live for.

What We Carry is a thought-provoking response to the author’s own miscarriage and lack of fiction surrounding the topic, that she and other women in her situation crave.

What We Carry by Kalyn Fogarty an emotional novel about loss, grief and ultimately, healing.

Cassidy Morgan and her husband Owen have been trying to get pregnant for several months without success. Like many women dealing with fertility issues, Cassidy is completely focused on finally getting a positive pregnancy test. As a consequence, her marriage is suffering as Owen grows tired of their intimate life revolving around the optimal time for conception. Finally he finally decides to it is time to speak up, the couple put baby-making on hold for a few months to reconnect with each other. And as sometimes happens when conception is put on the back burner, Cassidy finally gets pregnant. Happily planning for their growing family, Cassidy and Owen are devastated by a late term miscarriage.

Cassidy is a large animal veterinarian who is close to her sister Claire. Her relationship with her mother is tumultuous but Cassidy and her dad share a tight bond. She is a bit of a tomboy who is happiest when taking care of horses. Cassidy is a bit closed off and pulls away during stressful situations. After her miscarriage, she clings tightly to her grief and mostly shuts Owen out.

Owen deeply loves his wife but he is frustrated by how much getting pregnant dominates their life. He is slowly building his business which is poised to take off after winning a prestigious contract. Owen has difficulty expressing his feelings and desires to Cassidy who uses any excuse to continue to push him away. After their loss, Owen must deal with his grief on his own because Cassidy is lost in her own pain and grief.

After undergoing testing to find out a possible cause for the late-term miscarriage, Cassidy and Owen are soon pregnant again. But having dealt with such a heartrending loss, Cassidy is plagued with worry that her body might again betray her. With such complicated feelings, she continues attempting to overcome her fears and fully celebrate the impending birth of their longed-for child.

What We Carry is a multi-layered novel with a deeply affecting storyline. Cassidy is multi-faceted character whose pain after her miscarriage is palpable. Owen is a wonderful man who must change his approach to his wife if they are to move through their grief and save their marriage. Cassidy’s struggles with fertility issues and subsequent heartbreaking pregnancy loss with resonate with readers. Based on her personal experience, Kalyn Fogarty’s debut novel is a thoroughly captivating story that does not shy away from a painful, yet rarely discussed, issue that affects ten to twenty percent of known pregnancies.

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Filed under Alcove Press, Contemporary, Kalyn Fogarty, Rated A, Review, What We Carry, Women's Fiction