When Olivia opens the bathroom door, the last thing she expects to see is her best friend Nicola giving birth on the floor - and to say Nicola is surprised is an understatement. She's not ready to be a mum, and she needs Olivia's help. But Olivia has her own problems - specifically her bullying boyfriend, Jonty, and keeping an eye on younger sister Alice. And then there's Nicola's friend Ben, who's struggling with secrets of his own.
Lisa Drakeford's YA novel The Baby is published in the UK this Thursday, July 2nd, by Chicken House. It promises to be a great, emotional read, and I for one am looking forward to getting stuck in!
As part of this blog tour I have an extract to share with you all, which I hope you enjoy reading. It's part of a series of five extracts - see the banner below for details of where to find the other snippets!
This would be the first time that her mum had shown interest. She can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times her mum has even looked at the baby.
Nicola swallows and allows a faint wisp of hope to slide up her throat. ‘I think she might be starting to get used to the place.’
Her mum purses her lips. ‘So you want this Ben up here?’ She looks doubtfully around the room.
‘Please.’ Nicola nods.
Her mum sighs and stomps down the stairs.
A matter of seconds pass by before she hears Ben leaping up the stairs. Then he is striding into her room. He has his usual grin and something in a carrier bag. Nicola cannot begin to think how she could have coped without his visits. He is the one person in all this chaos who has made her feel vaguely normal. The one person who appears to have stuck by her. Everyone else, apart from Alice, has dumped her. Like she makes everyone feel awkward.
‘How is she?’ Ben whispers, peering over the Moses basket.
‘The health visitor says that we should talk normally around her so that she gets used to sleeping with noise.’ Nicola screws up her nose. ‘But right now I’m just grateful that she’ll sleep. I’m willing to live in a soundproof vacuum if it means I get four clear hours.’
Ben grins and turns back to her. ‘Dig the leggings, by the way, Nic. You aiming for a tie-dye design?’
[Click to enlarge.]