The Unprotected
by Kelly Sokol

For readers of Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, a chilling debut of psychological suspense.

Lara James, a driven advertising executive in her mid-thirties has always put her career before any plans for a family. But after her father’s death, the idea of being a mother doesn’t sound so far-fetched. Yet pregnancy—something other women seem to accomplish effortlessly—doesn’t come easily to Lara. Instead, she and her husband find themselves unmoored in a sea of hormone therapy, IVF treatments, and devastating miscarriages. As the promise of motherhood drifts further away, Lara becomes obsessed, sacrificing everything in the process.

When she at last becomes pregnant and gives birth to a daughter, relief soon gives way to the grim realities of life as a sleep-deprived new mother with a screaming infant. With her marriage crumbling, Lara teeters on the edge of postpartum depression, driven to dark thoughts and destructive actions she would never have imagined possible before now. Struggling to connect with the child she worked so hard to conceive and desperate to reclaim control over her own life, Lara must find a way to face her future. If she can’t, she risks losing everything—including her own sanity.

At times disturbing, this is a bold, unflinching novel for anyone who’s ever wanted children—and wondered what they might have to sacrifice along the way.