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Labour of Love: A Story of Generosity, Hope and Surrogacy

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A story of generosity, hope and surrogacy

Shannon Garner met and married the man of her dreams, had two gorgeous children and lived an idyllic life on the New South Wales coast. So why did she decide one day to pursue altruistic surrogacy? And what made her choose a gay male couple from Sydney?

Labour of Love is Shannon’s honest and engaging story – a rollercoaster of emoti
Paperback, 360 pages
Published July 1st 2016 by Simon Schuster Australia
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MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
While I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, I do enjoy a good memoir so when I was contacted by Shannon Garner and asked to review the account of her journey through surrogacy, I couldn’t resist.

Altruistic Surrogacy is a subject that has always fascinated me and, while books like Dawn Barker’s Let Her Go (which I loved), shed some light on it, Shannon Garner has been through it.

Happily married with two beautiful children of her own, Shannon’s determination to pursue her desire to be a surrogate
Jenn J McLeod
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Labour of Love is a story beautifully conceived—emotive, engaging and honest—with the rollercoaster of emotions of any pregnancy juxtaposed with the very clinical aspects of a highly regulated ‘industry’ and its invasive administrative processes.
Importantly, Shannon’s memoir is not an account of heartache and conflict, but an uplifting story the author describes as “a collective love”—one that involves a handful of people who start out strangers and end up so much more than family. What Shannon
Dane Norris
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The title of this book, 'Labour of Love: A Story of Generosity, Hope and Surrogacy' is beautifully fitting, but also incredibly understated. This book is a beacon of light in a world that needs more love, and now more than ever does this touching story need to be told.

Shannon's eloquently written journey reminds us that love is alive, that dreams are worth dreaming and that collective love is one of the most powerful gifts in our world. A collective love can, quite literally, change lives and c
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
#bookreviews #aussiereading #AWW2017 #non-fiction

A story of hopes and dreams, and the journey that made them real.

Labour of Love is an exploration and a reflection of one woman’s surrogacy journey, and the greatest gift of all – a healthy child.

In 2013, Shannon Garner made the decision to carry a child for a childless gay couple, Jon and Justin. She loved being pregnant, and had borne the two children she and her husband, Andrew, wanted to complete their family. In an act of selfless generosi
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Shannon takes you on a heartfelt journey through her experience of surrogacy, giving an intimate glimpse into what it’s like to grow a baby for someone else. Honest and engaging, Labour of Love is a beautifully written memoir about the power of love.
Shannon’s interactions with her young children are just gorgeous and really made me smile. Her friendship with the boys is moving. Her husband’s fishing trips made me grind my teeth! And I really felt for her in the tough times –
Greg Barron
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read Labour of Love because Shannon is a friend, not because I'm particularly interested in surrogacy. Yet I never could have understood what a sacrifice Shannon and her family made for two men she didn't even know until I read the book. The level of detail is amazing, and the author's ability to recall conversations and situations brings the story to life on the page.
The tension builds incrementally throughout the book until the final chapters had me holding my breath with worry for tiny Elsi
Tenille Duncan
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A heart warming story of love and hope. It's not just a story for those interested in surrogacy but for anyone who wants to be inspired by a gorgeous soul willing to step out and help someone else the best she could. Beautifully written, easy to read and a page turner that'll leave your heart swollen and full of joy. Loved it!
Tamara McWilliam
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the first memoir I have read. I found it an easy read with a beautiful story behind it. Surrogacy is a very grey area in Australia, this book opens the mind to the opportunities that are out there for couples wanting to become parents and unfortunately struggle to conceive. Well Done Shannon.
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A heartwarming, beautifully written book. An insight into a world of unconditional love & compassion. Truly remarkable. I cried & laughed & cried again of pure joy & happiness. ...more
Michael Williams-Wiggins
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a moving and inspiring book. Shannon's courage moved me. I hope that one day when I'm ready to follow my dreams to become a parent I meet someone as caring as Shannon
Susanne Mills
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It’s quite rare to find an audiobook read by the author.
However, I didn’t feel that the author was being completely honest throughout the book. She liked to explain the negativity surrounding surrogacy in Australia so I felt that sometimes she was trying to make herself a positive light on the subjects she faced. I wished she had talked more about the negative issues and feelings because I do think she held back.
Apart from that it was a good read. I’d have liked to have he
Elizabeth Douglas
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was enthralled by Labour of Love. It gave me a true insight into the World of surrogacy. Shannon wrote this book from her heart and with such honesty. Her selflessness and compassion are an integral part of her decision to become a surrogate, without which a little girl would not have become part of such a beautiful extended family.
Libby Douglas
Anna Chilcott
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolute gem: a raw, honest, warmly engaging and emotionally seductive read. A woman's personal story of her journey through surrogacy, to bear and deliver a child for a couple unable to have their own baby. Shannon writes with such passion and feeling, and I found her story utterly un-put-downable, quite literally.

Labour of Love is not just Shannon's story alone: it is that of her own family, an egg donor, a male couple with a profound desire to become parents, and the relation
Anne Rattham
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A truly inspirational read filled with raw emotion and heartfelt life changing experiences, the author digs deep and bares her soul to describe her surrogate path.

Despite some ups and downs along the way and being surrounded at times by such negativity around her, Shannon finds enormous strength and the will to provide the best environment possible for the baby she carries in order to fulfil the wish of the baby's parents, as well as her own selfless dream. All this whilst having her own young
Lucy Dodd
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shannon's beautifully written account of surrogacy was something I'll never forget. It resonated with me and made me laugh, cry and sometimes cringe! It was raw and honest, and when a writer can evoke such feelings so easily in a reader I believe it signifies a great talent.
Labour of love is an inspirational story and not just because of Shannon's immense generosity and incredible sacrifice, but also because it depicts a woman achieving exactly what she set out to do and for all the right reaso
Danni Duivesteyn
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Labour of Love. A raw, honest, emotional experience of Shannons surrogacy journey. Held within the pages, her fears, uncertanties, self doubt but all matched with her strength, character, determination an empowerment on bringing families together. This was trully an amazing read, i laughed, i cried, i felt her frustrations, her love. I felt like i was on this journey with her, clutched to every word written, every emotion experienced. It leaps of the pages and speaks volumes about how precious ...more
Angela Savage
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Surrogacy remains a controversial topic in Australia. Shannon Garner's heartfelt memoir is both an uplifting personal account of her own surrogacy experience, and an important contribution to public conversation on surrogacy. Shannon's story suggests that the success of a surrogacy arrangement has at least as much to do with trust, love and open-heartedness on the part of all parties, as it does with regulation and clinical support. That said, this is an intimate account that only weighs in on t ...more
Mel Wells
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an amazingly inspiring book! Shannon Garner

As the title states - this really is a story of generosity and hope. It was a rollercoaster of emotions reading this book (note: don't read on an aeroplane like I did - nobody likes a crying passenger!) but an overwhelming sense of love, joy and accomplishment poured from the pages. I closed the book feeling so proud to be a surrogate and so proud of being a woman.

Thank you all for sharing your journey

Mel Wells - Altruistic Gestational Surrogate
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this beautifully written book. It was a great insight into the determination and commitment needed to be a surrogate. For anyone considering this path either as the surrogate or the new parents it is a must read. The trust and love between Shannon & Andrew with Jon & Justin was heartwarming, I was really impressed with the strength shown by Andrew throughout this journey, I am sure he must have felt like he was sitting on the sidelines watching the game unfold, supporting all t ...more
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely brilliant and heart felt journey through Shannon's surrogacy journey. This book was very easy to read and it was hard to put it down. I wanted to keep reading until I knew how it all ended. Shannon writes so beautifully of her desire to be an altruistic surrogate and it is clear that Jon & Justin scored themselves one amazing, caring & genuine surrogates. The love that has been created amongst all of the families involved along this journey truly shines through and Elsie is one luc ...more
Annette Cole
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is such a special book. Shannon shares the highs and lows of her incredible journey with brutal honesty. It's beautifully written and so easy to read. Her generosity and love not only brought a beautiful life into the world, but enriched the lives of all involved. It's a book not just for those interested in surrogacy, but a real life, feel good story of courage, determination, love and friendship. It made me laugh and made me cry. I couldn't put it down.
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I normally don't get time to read books and those I do start are so dull they're not worth finishing. This certainly wasn't the case with Labour of Love & I had forgotten how good it feels to read an enjoyable book!
I shed many tears reading this book. Shannon is so open and genuine in her writing that I really felt like I was there with her on this surrogacy journey.
I enjoyed this book far more than I would have expected and would reccomend to others.
Karenne James
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is book is honest and raw. Its filled with love and genuine emotions. Its beautiful to read, such compelling information that is sincere. I found the letter that Shannon wrote to Elsie heartwarming and something that Elsie can treasure her entire life. I highly recommend this book to anyone whom is trying to have a chid, has a child, wants to be a donor. Or someone who wants to give the extraordinary gift of carrying a child for someone. A pleasure to read.
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An amazing story based on a woman’s aspiration to help a childless couple make their dreams come true by becoming a family. Shannon is the birth mother for a Sydney based couple after having two beautiful children of her own and a supporting husband by her side. She shows vulnerability, wit and honesty. Recommended read for anyone looking to be inspired or understand more about surrogacy.
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A good book needs to offer a new perspective or a challenge to each reader, and this book delivered both. My knowledge of surrogacy was limited to none before reading this. Shannon shines a gentle, but powerfully informed light upon the topic. The story is both uniquely hers, but is also shared with the characters we meet throughout the book.

Absolutely incredible.
Jacqueline Lowe
Labour of of Love was true to it's title. A story of love. I enjoyed the journey and rhythm of the words. For me it wasn't just a story of surrogacy but an affirmation of the power of love, acceptance and pure intention.
Christine Robinson
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful written book. Loved it. Shannon certainly shares all her highs and lows during this time. By reading this book, I think Shannon is a very special, selfless human being. Well done Shannon recommend this book to anyone.
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It was fantastic to read and I didn't want it to end! I felt like I really got to know all the different people in the book. I absolutely loved Shannon's honesty and how much she shared with the readers. I will definitely be telling my friends all about this book!
Annie Seaton
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring read. The overarching theme for me was the power of generosity and love as this new extended family was created.
Neralie Allen
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Was enthralled from the first page through to the last.
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