From the cover blurb:
Rachael Carter, a young nurse, is asked to house-sit by a colleague she barely knows. Dr Cate O’Reilly is travelling to Vietnam with her husband to adopt a baby. Before long the request has changed. The couple need a surrogate.
Rachael sees an opportunity to leave her own troubles behind, but is soon caught up in new struggles, both sexual and psychological. She discovers that this couple will do anything to see their dream of a child fulfilled.
Surrogate is a powerful story, beautifully told
Katharine England, The Advertiser January 20 2018
Both these novels — Adelaide writer Crisp’s second, Melbourne author Evans’s fourth — are highly topical and engaging. Crisp’s in particular you might be tempted to read at a sitting, for it moves rapidly between two time frames, concentrating on pivotal events and imbuing them with a strong local atmosphere. …
Crisp’s novel neatly encapsulates some of the most emotive issues around motherhood, making them vivid and intense with personal and local detail: Unmarried girls sequestered like slaves in a far-flung Flinders Ranges rown until their newborns can be taken from them; an increasingly fraught private surrogacy arrangement between people who hardly know each other; a young woman who has mentally jettisoned fertility in favour of a beloved father-figure; an insecure older woman confronting breast cancer.
There are situations rife with opportunities for exploitation, extreme hurt and emotional blackmail, but most of Crisp’s characters treat one another with exemplary tenderness and care. There is much for Adelaide readers to recognise in Crisp’s largely wintry scenarios — the (old) Adelaide Hospital, Jetty Rd, The Parade, the Esplanade at Brighton, the local train network, Centennial Park cemetery — but there are also more general settings realised in the rich and intimate detail of texture, sense and smell. And, as in Evans’s novel, there is a telling moment of disclosure, a decision tensely awaited and satisfyingly revealed at the poignant climax of the book.