It isn't what you think | BookishFirst

It isn't what you think

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This book is presented as a psychological thriller. While I will agree it has some elements of that, for me it was more of a medical mystery. We are concerned with four people, five if you count the baby. First we have Claire, a woman who has a DNA mutation in her family's past that has killed her first born child and threatens any future children she may have. She wants another child, but she's willing to take advantage of medical research that could edit out the mutation. Then there is Ethan, Clair's husband. He's big on ethics in medical research and is opposed to gene editing on people, because it might cause children to have multiple genetic parents and that isn't natural. Third is Robert, a fertility specialist who is doing unsanctioned research in correcting genetic diseases. He wants his patients to have healthy results from their IVF procedures. Lastly, we have Jillian, a talented researcher who is more interested in "can I" than in "should I". She is ultra focused on the research and the potential profitable results.
When Claire goes to Robert for IVF treatment, she believes his unauthorized research techniques will give her a healthy child. She wants that child so badly, she basically threatens Robert. Jillian is very happy to apply additional pressure. It must be kept secret from Ethan, or he'll turn them all in because the whole thing has been made illegal. Of course, Ethan finds out, freaks out and Claire runs away. Since she is pregnant, Robert follows her and only Jillian goes to jail.
When we finally meet the child, Abby is 10 and very healthy. She is upset with her parents, who are by her view, very strange. Once a year the family makes a pilgrimage to the Museum in honor of a brother Abby never met because he died before she was born. Otherwise, her mother rarely leaves the house. Electronically, they just about live off the grid, using old flip phones instead of smartphones. Abby only has internet because her school district requires it.
Since she was released from prison, her research career destroyed, Jillian has been looking for Claire and the baby. This is the only part where any psychological thrilling come into play.
Each chapter is told from the point of view of one of the characters. That character is names at the start of their chapter so there is no confusion about who is talking. I liked that we get to see how the people are feeling. It makes the story more human, I think. I liked the story and the bits of theory in human reproduction we get. At one time IVF was unthinkable and unnatural. Now it is the standard treatment for couples who don't get pregnant after a year of trying. I don't know what the future is in genome editing, but the landscape for it is also changing. I recommend the book. It will, in places, give you things to think about.