Penguin Ireland, €8.99
For a long time no writer has been capable of matching the talents of Marian Keyes in the chick-lit market. Plenty have made valiant, yet futile, efforts to steal her crown but at last Ireland has produced a real contender - step forward Sinead Moriarty, author of 'The Baby Trail'. Although this is only her debut novel, it has caused quite a stir in the publishing industry, thanks to Moriarty's easy, comfortable style of writing, a refreshing departure from the usual chick-lit plot and a heroine that you really find yourself rooting for.
Emma Hamilton is 33, married to the lovely James and desperate to start a family. The pair decide they're finally ready to give up their carefree existence and concentrate on getting pregnant. When the usual method fails to get results, Emma investigates how she can give Mother Nature a helping hand, with hilarious consequences. As she becomes increasingly frustrated with her failure to conceive and her husband, family and friends fail to give her the support she needs, Emma resolves to try anything, even a holiday to Lourdes, to get pregnant.
Moriarty was inspired to write this novel by her own efforts to have a child and this is the real secret to the book's success. Emma's difficulties are genuine and realistic and the emotions she feels - anger, frustration and despair - are vivid, even if the readers themselves have never gone through the process of trying to get pregnant.
It is refreshing to read a book about a young woman who has already met Mr Right and married him. Women's lives don't end when they finally nab The One and Moriarty has picked a topic - a woman's failure to produce a child - that is still quite taboo to talk about in today's society. Not only is it a brave and revealing story, but it also manages to be entertaining, very funny, with a cast of wonderful supporting characters and an unpredictable ending. Marian Keyes, you have some competition.