XX by Angela Chadwick

This is Chadwick’s true strength: the ability to distil the human experience and reproduce it in print. Topical, probing and quietly intense – XX is a phenomenal debut.

Book Review by Mika Cook | 28 Sep 2018
  • XX
Book title: XX
Author: Angela Chadwick

Rosie really wants a baby; her partner Jules isn’t so sure. When a UK university discovers ground-breaking fertility treatment allowing two women to have a biological child of their own, they see it as a sign. As their involvement in the trial is leaked to the press, the couple is not only faced with the betrayal of those close to them, but must suffer political wrath and outrage.

Angela Chadwick’s XX is so much more than the moral dilemma of ovum-to-ovum, or a consideration of family dynamics. At its core, it is a story about love, and its antithesis, hatred – an examination of what it means to be a human. The fickleness of the press and the willingness of the general public to hate on principle is both topical and suffocating.

The raw, honest portrayal of Jules and Rosie’s relationship is what makes this novel shine – their relationship is stressful and volatile, yet feels undeniably and reassuringly real, as solid and real as Jules and Rosie themselves. We travel through the intimacy of Jules’ inner thoughts, her wants and her doubts as a reluctant parent-to-be in a world that is so set on hating her child before it is even born.

This is Chadwick’s true strength: the ability to distil the human experience and reproduce it in print. Topical, probing and quietly intense – XX is a phenomenal debut.


Dialogue Books, 4 Oct, £13.99