Ruth Furnival has built the life she always dreamed of: a stellar career in television, a lovely home, a lawyer husband and two grown-up daughters. But at 54, with an empty nest and the menopause behind her, she feels restless and dissatisfied.
After multiple rounds of failed IVF, her elder daughter Lauren is told that the only way she and her husband can have a child of their own is through surrogacy. So when Ruth discovers that, with the right dose of hormones, she could carry their baby, they agree out of desperation.
At first Ruth is buoyed by a new sense of purpose, but as her pregnancy progresses, long-buried events from the past resurface. Meanwhile Lauren can’t contain her corrosive envy. Isolated and alone, Ruth starts to unravel and what began as an act of altruism turns into one of atonement – for which she’s willing to risk everything.
Surrogate is both a compelling story of a family in meltdown and a visceral exploration of the joys and tribulations of being female, from girlhood to motherhood and beyond.