Bed Rest

Bed Rest

by Sarah Bilston


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Quinn "Q" Boothroyd is a young British lawyer married to an American and living in New York City. She's checked off most of the boxes on her "Modern Woman's List of Things to Do Before Hitting 30," and her busy working life has been relatively painless. But when her doctor tells her she must spend the last three months of her pregnancy lying in bed, Q is thrown into a tailspin. Initially bored and frustrated, Q's days soon fill up as she tries to reconnect with her workaholic husband, provide legal advice for her sweet Greek neighbor, find romance for a loyal co-worker, forge new emotional bonds with her mother and sisters, and figure out who will keep her stocked up in cookies and sandwiches.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060889951
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/26/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 784,094
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Sarah Bilston is the author of Bed Rest. Originally from England and married to an American, she teaches at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she lives.

Read an Excerpt

Bed Rest

By Sarah Bilston

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright ©2006 Sarah Bilston
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060889934

Chapter One

I haven't written a diary since I was twelve. Wait, that's not true. I kept one for about six months when I started dating Mike Novak. I still have the notebook somewhere, a scruffy green ring-binder half filled with teenage angst about Mike and his terrible kissing and his lamentable desire for a student nurse named Susie.

Writing a diary seems like an admission you have nothing better to do. It's the life story of a person who doesn't have a life. And frankly, I'm not sure that anybody's existence is worth recording for posterity, unless you're a world leader or a Theatrical Great or something. Maybe not even then. I read my grandmother's diary once, it was all about the weather and her trips to the Women's Institute and the progress of her runner beans. I'd rather leave no record of my existence than that. I'd rather my life was a big blank page, so my future granddaughter can imagine me as a toothsome lovely whose youth was one long succession of olive-skinned, silk-shirted men.

On the other hand, when you really don't have anything better to do, writing a diary is as good a way of passing the time as any other. It makes the hours and minutes seem less of a vacuum -- I thought, I felt. I existed. I suppose I'll just have to hide this bookfrom any future granddaughters.

This afternoon, I left my office early, just before three. I work at -- wait, why am I telling myself this? I know where I work.

Time for the first admission. I'm an anxious obsessive. I hate gaps and omissions; I have to record everything. That green ring-binder started out normally enough ("Mike Novak has a tanned chest and nipples that flush brown when I pull them with my teeth") but by page five it was more like a scrapbook, filled with lists of the important people in my life (1. Mum. 2. Mike. 3. Our cat) and terrible poetry ("Mike has gone and my life is / A dark page / A black night / A bottomless sea / Of / Unequalled Misery"). As soon as I get a pen in my hand, or a computer keyboard beneath my fingers, I can't stop myself, there it is, the contents of my brain in black and white, facts and fictions, thoughts, details, imaginings, everything.

And anyway, if I'm reading this in fifty years, I'll probably have forgotten things like the name of my law firm. My memory will be going, and it'll be really irritating to find that my younger self failed to record the nitpicky details of her life. So here goes.

I work at the law firm of Schuster & Marks, in New York City, on Fifty-fifth and Fifth. Today I locked my office door just before three, leaving the printer spewing out the pages of a brief I need to proofread before tomorrow morning. I flung myself through the heated revolving doors at the front of my building and out into an arctic February afternoon. Fifteen yellow cabs tooled past, their snug passengers watching, emotionlessly, the heavy pregnant woman in a sodden camel coat dancing up and down on the sparkling cold sidewalk (I forgot the important bit, I was twenty-six weeks' enceinte on Monday, yesterday). Nothing for it, I thought helplessly, as icy water prickled at my eyelashes. I pulled up my collar, clasped my hands around my enormous belly, and ran the eleven blocks uptown to my obstetrician's office through crowds of scurrying pedestrians, their faces stretched taut against the freezing wind.

Dr. Weinberg's office is as elegant as a Chelsea art gallery. Abstract lithographs in hushed silver frames decorate the waiting room. The receptionist peers out from behind a tall, slender glass vase stocked with impossible-looking South American orchids, pearly white with a faint pink flush and deep, jaundiced yellow throats. The doctor herself is an inordinately well-preserved fifty-something with high cheekbones, a narrow, burgundy mouth, and hair that seems to have suffered a serious shock midfluff.

After a few preliminary questions she set about prodding my stomach, pushing hard under my ribs and diaphragm. She produced a coiled fabric tape measure and measured from my pubes to just above my navel. Then she slid across the floor on her wheelie stool, leafed through the pages of a large pink file, and finally looked at me over the rim of her rectangular steel spectacles. "You're measuring small," she said.

Huh? I thought; I'm enormous. Children point at me in the streets. Workmen -- oh-so-kindly -- tell me the way to the hospital. I wear trousers with huge nylon gusset panels in the front and extra folds of elastic hidden in the waistband, and by the evening I still feel like I'm strapped into an instrument of torture.

Small? I said to her. Small? In relation to what?

She explained that the top of my uterus wasn't where it should be -- i.e., halfway to my chin -- and sent me for an immediate ultrasound. I called Tom (my husband, in case I develop really galloping Alzheimer's in the future) in a panic from the waiting area, but before he could leave his meeting at the Federal Courthouse I found myself in a darkened sonography room three doors down from Dr. Weinberg's office. A heavyset, expressionless woman with short graying ash-blond hair, a white coat, and loose beige trousers glanced up at me as I entered. She looked as if she'd spent most of her life underground. Her pale round face gleamed oddly in the gray-white light of a computer monitor.

"Onto the table, please," the woman said, nodding curtly at the examining couch beside her. She turned away and busied herself finding and inserting a disc into the computer, which whirred and clicked respectfully. I heaved myself up and exposed my white whale belly, feeling suddenly vulnerable, longing desperately for a bit of reassuring girly chatter ("Nothing to worry about, I'm sure, I see this all the time, it's no big deal"). . . .


Excerpted from Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston Copyright ©2006 by Sarah Bilston. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

Plum Sykes

“Even if you’ve never been pregnant you’ll be as instantly hooked on this addictive novel as I was. ”

Elizabeth Noble

“Prescribe yourself the same so that you can bask in the humor and warmth of this gorgeous novel.”

Marian Keyes

“[H]onest and irreverent ... I laughed out loud and I couldn’t put it down.”

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“Sarah Bilston reads like Sophie Kinsella’s big sister—a bit more serious, a little wiser, just as irresistable.”

Customer Reviews

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Bed Rest 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
irinka87 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Bilston's first novel. It was an okay read. I looked forward to it and was disappointed. It wasn't very fast paced or enticing to read. Not a page turner. You won't feel bad if you skip this one.
2chances on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quinn Boothroyd, expat Brit married to American lawyer Tom and currently pregnant with their first child, discovers a major glitch in the pregnancy (besides the fact that her and Tom's high-stress life is going to be impossible once the baby arrives): low amniotic fluid. If the baby is to survive, Q has to stay lying down on her left side for the next thirteen weeks. As a woman once diagnosed with placenta previa during her first pregnancy (I recall the doctor talking about blood "literally pouring off the table" if things went wrong) and also sentenced to bed rest, I empathized with Q's bed-rest trials: the very phrase, "bed rest" begins to seem Orwellian as your mental health goes south, your intense boredom creates massive stress, and your social life becomes non-existent. Bilston manages to make all this quite amusing, while guiding Q through resolution of her less-than-sisterly feelings for her sisters, her deteriorating relationship with Tom, and the legal case of the downstairs tenants which Q takes on to while away her hours. I was a bit surprised by how dark things got before the dawn, but I did enjoy it - the problem of Brianna and her married lover was actually awfully funny. How about a sequel, Sarah Bilston? This is the right kind of book for a sequel.
picklechic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bed Rest by Sarah Bilston is the story of Q, an expectant mother who is put on bed rest after it is discovered the baby doesn't have enough fluid. The book is written from the point of view of Q writing in her diary about all her visitors (or lack there of), marital stress caused by her husband working too much, family and friend drama, and her worry about her baby. Despite the rather serious subject matter, Q is an endearing narrator and her story is funny, light and interesting. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and I identified well with Q. I am looking forward to reading the sequel, Sleepless Nights. This was a very good book and I recommend it to anyone who has ever been pregnant. 5 stars.
PattyLouise on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yummy book that will entrance Sophie Kinsella lovers...a fast tracked pregnant English attorney married to a New York attorney and the problems that they encounter when she is forced into total bed rest for the survival of her unborn baby.
libmhleigh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quinn is a young lawyer, born in Britain but now married to an ambitious American attorney and living in New York City. They are expecting a child, but their lives are turned upside down when Quinn is told that she must stay on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy to delay a possible pre-term delivery as long as possible. During her bed rest, Quinn occupies herself by making to-do lists, seeing family and friends, and getting ready for the birth of her child.Quote: ¿Crack open Sylvia Plath¿s ¿Ariel¿ when life seems hard to bear. It¿s always good to discover that someone else has been closer to the screaming edge than you are.¿This is one of those books that is written as if it is the diary of the main character- although I did not find it to be as big on flow-of-consciousness as some works with a similar premise, such as ¿Bridget Jones¿ Diary.¿ The problem with this work is that, although it is entertaining, I found Quinn and those around her much less endearing than would be necessary to make this book really work. There was a nearly complete lack of sympathetic or appealing characters portrayed (which may be because it was written from Quinn¿s perspective and the bed rest has made her touchy), but everyone in her life is completely annoying, which made it really difficult to care whether all the individual story lines worked out okay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Where is her new book? due out in July then December now I don't even see it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Such a great book could not put it down. Would definetely reccomend to anyone who has or has not been pregnant before.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Q,is a pregnant woman who is used to a fast paced life as a lawyer. Now, the doctor has ordered her to bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Filled with bordom & nothing to do but analyse her relationships with her over critical mother, & her two competitive sisters, who live in England, but come to visit her seperately. The only people to visit her is one girl from the office, who she barely knew, that turns out to be in a rocky relationship with a MM (married man), & the other is her neighbor,a maternal Greek elderly lady who is trying to save a building full of old people that have rent controlled apartments. Q, also begins to suspect that her work-a-holic husband's loyalty lies more with his job, than with her & the baby. With so much time on her hands, all she can do is worry about her baby's health & who will bring her her next meal! At times this book is funny, but for anyone who has been odered bed rest during a pregnancy, this book rings all so true! This is a must read, even if you aren't pregnant. It's still a fun book. I loved the way all the characters where portrayed. This book has all the charm to make you fall n love with everyone. Even the over critial mother!