Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Zygote Chronicles” as Want to Read:
The Zygote Chronicles
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Zygote Chronicles

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  363 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Suzanne Finnamore's universally applauded Otherwise Engaged followed one woman's whirlwind ride from diamond ring to altar. The Zygote Chronicles is her singular take on the next leg of the journey -- a riotous and poignant novel in journal form that takes us from conception to delivery room. Through the voice of a whip-smart, sass-talking everywoman Zygote reveals the uns ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Grove Press (first published 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Zygote Chronicles, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Zygote Chronicles

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  363 ratings  ·  58 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Zygote Chronicles
Melissa Cardenas
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was ok
"The Zygotes Chronicles” by Suzanne Finnamore

A mother-to-be narrates the journey of her first pregnancy in the form of journal entries to her baby-to-be. At 38, the narrator is terrified about having a baby, and expresses her insecurities. She also questions whether the advertising career where she's achieved the heady titles of vice president and creative director, will disappear the moment she gives birth. Under physical and psychological stress, she sometimes flares up to her 49 year old hus
I'm sure this falls into stage two chick lit -- the place where the mommy-gene takes over. I read Suzanne Finnamore's Otherwise Engaged a few years ago and loved it and so there was no hesitation when I realized she had a new book. The Zygote Chronicles are written in a confidential diary-like voice from mother to baby, capturing her journey from intent to delivery. This short novel is poignant and hilarious at once. Repeatedly, I found myself laughing out loud at moments like this:

"I think befo
Apr 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Celia by: Jonna Rubin
Shelves: general-fiction
Jonniker recommended Suzanne Finnamore on her blog, and I trotted off to the library to explore. (I wanted to read her engagement/marriage novel prior to the pregnancy one, but Zygote Chronicles was on the shelves, so that's what I picked up).

I expected something a bit chick-littish, which this is definitely not - it's a small book, a diary of a pregnancy, and beautifully written. I felt completely caught up in that strange world of something coming to life inside you, and the oddness of it all.
First read, August 2007:
I love Finnamore's conversational and humorous tone. This might fall into a "chick-lit" (lord I hate that term) category but it's high quality. Follow up to "Otherwise Engaged."

Second read, August 2021:
This time I read "Zygote" right after finishing "Otherwise Engaged" and noticed something I did not before: that although all of the characters are essentially the same, they all have different names and in some cases the story is slightly tweaked- the narrator's father is
May 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ew-picks
This book was HILARIOUS! It brought back memories of my extreme emotions during pregnancy. I read a review of this author's recently published book about her divorce, titled 'Split,' and couldn't resist reading this one first. She also wrote about about getting married that I don't know the title of and haven't read. I also liked that she was from the Bay Area and referenced it throughout, although I couldn't pinpoint most of the locations. ...more
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all humans!
Shelves: books-i-love
Wow! I love love love Suzanne Finnamore for this! Reading her book made me wish my mom was a writer. Or for that matter that everyone's mom is a writer so that something like this could be written during the period when our moms were pregnant. She made me burst into laughter reading passages from her book. Absolutely brilliant! I would kiss her hand when I see her! If she allows me. :) ...more
Grace-ann Westergren
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Raw and humorous account of pregnancy and birth.
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, humor
Loved the author's voice. Went back and read her previous novel, also semi-autobiographical, detailing an engagement. Was sad when her next book came out, a non-fiction book, describing what came later, a dissolution of her relationship with her child's father. Also good, but not as funny, as you can imagine. ...more
Meg C
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I know her writing isn't for everyone, but man, she is one of my favorite authors. Rereading this for the fourth or fifth time and still so funny and moving. ...more
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
humorous account of a pregnancy
Evanston Public  Library
So after enjoying Split, by Suzanne Finnamore, so much I decided to give her other books a try. Split is a memoir of the year when her husband of 5 years decides he wants a divorce. Finnamore’s other two books, Otherwise Engaged and The Zygote Chronicles, document her engagement to said husband and their subsequent pregnancy. Although Split is a memoir and her other two books were marketed as fiction, one can’t help but assume she is writing autobiographically. Since I had already started readin ...more
Aug 08, 2007 rated it really liked it
I originally read this short novel several years ago, but wanted to reread it now that I am pregnant. It was just as funny as I remembered. One incident that stood out when I read it the first time (and is still funny as all get out) is when her husband cooks beets and stinks up the house during her first trimester.

“I think, This is the worst thing he has ever done to me. Death by beet. I feel he is the most ignorant man alive right now. I want to harm him in some way. I know he doesn’t underst
May 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Holly by: Jonniker
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn't chick-litty at all. In fact, it was kind of like reading a blog: a really well-written one by a person you'd like to stalk (or, you know, whatever, be friend with) in real life. Certain parts were laugh-out-loud funny (in a wry, dry, witty way, not in a slapstick way) although I did get a TAD irritated by the way it kind of just went on and on and on in the same tone the whole time -- I might have liked a little more instance of conversation or ...more
Feb 23, 2009 rated it liked it
I like to read books that are in a series, which is why I read this even though I didn't really love the first book "Otherwise Engaged". This isn't exactly a sequel, which was weird. A lot of the characters were very close, but some of the details were changed, sometimes just a character's name, which I thought was really weird. It was kind of like the author just "forgot" the name of the character in the previous book. That said, I enjoyed this much more than the first book. The character chang ...more
Amanda Jones
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents and those wanting to be, workaholics
I bought this book when I was trying to get pregnant a couple of years ago and didn't pick it up to read until I actually got pregnant last year. It is great! It's about a couple that gets pregnant but it seems that may not be what she wants the most and at times throughout her pregnancy she feels as though the fetus in an invasion of her body. She has a very interesting view on parenthood (coming from a very busy work-aholic couple). She often has dreams of horrible things happening as a result ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: general-fiction
A nine month chronicle of an almost forty-year-old woman's journey through pregnancy. The book is a journal but reads as though she is conversing with the life growing inside her. Predictably, much of her diatribe focuses on the ever-changing physical aspects and increasing discomfort. As the months drag on her scope narrows, crowding out work responsibilities with a singular purpose of motherhood. Though not notable by any means and very short (only 124 pages!) it was a thoroughly enjoyable rea ...more
Jan 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
This ranks right up with Operating Instructions in the smart, funny, honest books about pregnancy category. I'm so glad I read it while my child is still small, because the uncertainty, joy, anger, and thrills Suzanne Finnamore describes are still clear in my memory. But I'm sure I could never have built such a vivid and affecting picture of them, especially with the economy that she does. Pick it up on your child's first birthday and it will all come rushing back. ...more
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: moms & anyone looking for a laugh
Recommended to Jillian by: my mom
Super funny. I know not everyone wants to have babies, but this girl is really funny.
I looked for other books by her & was disturbed to note that her latest memoir is called Split: A Memoir of Divorce. Kind of put a damper on this one for me, but it really was mostly about her nd this baby. Good stuff.
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-in2011
Amazing read. Simple and to the point. Her voice cuts right to the heart of whatever matter she writes about. Things you think, but never that eloquently. I'll be reading whatever else she ever writes.

Why oh why have I not read Suzanne Finnamore before? I'm 45 pages in and in love with her writing style.
Jul 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any woman expecting or thinking of having a baby
Shelves: fiction
For the record, I don't have any specific plans to have a baby in the near future. I bought this book because it was selling on the street for $1 and looked entertaining. It was well worth the money, very funny and very sweet. I'm saving it for the next friend of mine to get pregnant. ...more
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Courtney, QueenieCarly
Shelves: 2006-2010
This was a fun book to read, funny and heart wrenching and poetically brillant. I've been inspired to write my daughter letters, there is so much I want to tell her about my life, my pregnancy and her birth - just having her in my life. Stuff that I wish my mom would say to me. ...more
Sep 07, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book, the narrator chronicles her pregnancy for her unborn child. Parts are hysterical like where she expresses her distress at the fact that her husband's normal smell has been replaced by one that smells like garbage. Cute and entertaining. ...more
Nov 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
This book was only 128 pages, so it was a very quick read. It is basically a diary written by a mother to her unborn child. It details all of the emotions the mother has while being pregnant from conception to birth.
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a first person narrative of a first time pregnancy--going from conception to birth. I'm sure I enjoyed this book more because I was pregnant at the time I read it. Especially nice if you don't have a girlfriend pregnant at the same time as you to comiserate. And a quick read.
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Just a perfectly simple and sweet ode to her unborn child.

"You can hear now. Your inner ear has formed.

"I shout 'I love you' into the bedroom. Then I feel stupid. Then I don't. This is pretty much the story of my life."
Jul 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Oddly emotionless, since it's written from the perspective of an expectant mother. You think she'd be a little more excited and verbose on the subject of her future spawn, yet instead we have to suffer through her reticent and overly-crafted sentences. ...more
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching and funny look at pregnancy over a scant 123 pages. The narrator is honest, human and witty. She even manages to squeeze a revelatory turning point in with all the banter. A poignant look at some common pregnancy experiences.
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Having just been pregnant myself , I could relate to a lot of what Finnamore had to say. Great, easy read - I loved her writing style. This book made me wish I had journaled/blogged more extensively during my pregnancy.
Amber the Human
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
The end is a little terrifying - so maybe be cautious about getting this as a gift for pregnant women. But she is a lovely author. The title of this book made me pull it off the library shelf, and I'm glad I did. ...more
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Spell of Winter
  • The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock
  • The Contortionist's Handbook
  • Prayer-Cushions of the Flesh
  • Survivor
  • Mirabilis
  • Shizuko's Daughter
  • Fifth Life of the Catwoman
  • Cold Mountain
  • Nora, Nora
  • The Wedding Night
  • Coastliners
  • Confessions of a Pagan Nun
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • The Perfect Summer
  • Without Fail (Jack Reacher, #6)
  • Fat White Vampire Blues (Fat White Vampire, #1)
  • The Winner
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

When author TJ Klune was growing up, he never saw queer characters in books in a way that felt true to his experience.  “They were the...
266 likes · 15 comments
“You are the closest I will ever come to magic.” 133 likes
“I've felt basically lucky ever since, almost every day of my life. That's something else love should make you feel. It should make you fell fortunate.
It will be made clear to you in a stray gesture, the line of a throat. Something in the hands. There may or may not be any music playing. But there will be a certain velocity of the spirit, a sensation of dropping through clear space unimpeded, and you think, This is the one. I found you.”
More quotes…