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A Review of

Forever and a Baby

by Margot Early




Set in a Massachusetts fishing village, this novel centers around a midwife who is also a belly dancer named Dru Haverford. Forever and a Baby



Fact Sheet


Forever and a Baby


Margot Early




Ballantine Books





Number of Pages


Published In





Dru Haverford's rich husband, rendered sterile by an accident, sends her out to find a man to father a child. She selects handsome Ben Hall, a childhood friend whom she hasn't seen in many years, to serve as the donor. The events of the present are told against the background of a traumatic event that occurred in the past in Sudan.

The characters all have a strong Middle Eastern connection. Dru and her cousin are both belly dancers. Her husband is Bedouin. Ben Hall) grew up living in the Middle East as his anthropologist father studied the tribes. And there was that horrifying event that occurred when they were adolescents in the Sudan....

Although the dance is peripheral to the plot, the characters do dance in a couple of places where it seems to fit. The book contains many tidbits about the cultures of the Middle East and North Africa which are interesting, although I do wonder how accurate those details are after having caught a couple of "facts" that I questioned.

The book is set in Massachusetts, and ensconced in the rhythm of people who fish for a living.



Is It Right for You?


You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You enjoy novels that transcend the romance novel genre, but still center around relationships.
  • You would enjoy a book whose central character is a midwife and a belly dancer.
  • You appreciate books that offer strong character development.
  • You can relate to a book set in a Massachusetts fishing village.


This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You don't like to think too hard when reading a book for pleasure.
  • You would be put off by an author who relies heavily on multiple flashbacks.



What I Liked, What I Didn't


What I Liked:

  • Although this book was published by a prominent romance novel publisher, it offers much more complex character development than most of romance novels I've read.
  • I found this book satisfying to read, and I found myself caring about the characters.
  • The story held my attention from beginning to end.
  • For those of us who love Middle Eastern dance, there are references throughout the book to Middle Eastern dance, music, instruments, and culture.
  • The author clearly did a large amount of research about the Middle East and North Africa before writing this book. For example, she accurately mentioned the guedra as a ritual of blessing by a tribe of Tuareg in Morocco.


What I Didn't Like:

  • Occasionally the book would make an incorrect comment about Middle Eastern dance or culture. For example, it refers to guedra as sometimes being used as a love dance.
  • The book relies heavily on the use of flashback as a literary device. Each flashback reveals a tiny bit about the events of the past that contributed to the behaviors of the present. I found it frustrating to have that part of the plot revealed as slowly as it was, and after a while I found it tedious. Although I can appreciate flashback when used in moderation, in this book, it was frequent and made both the past history and the current story seem choppy and fragmented.
  • There are so many characters, that at first I found I needed a scorecard to keep track of who they all were and how they were related to each other. Fortunately, the author provided such a scorecard at the beginning of the book!




Don't let the fact that Harlequin published this make you dismiss this book as just another romance novel. It contains much more depth in the character development and plot than a typical romance novel would.

Because there are some discreet references to sex in this book, I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers. However, adult readers will find that these references are discreet enough to not distract from the story.




The author used my web site as a reference when she researched the book, and she mentions my name (my real name, not my dance name) in the acknowledgements at the beginning. She did secure my permission ahead of time to use material from my site, and I am comfortable with how it appeared in the book.


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