Susan Spindler

300 pages April 2021 Proofs in English Original publisher: ViragoThriller

There’s nothing like a mother’s love…

Surrogate is a compelling and topical psychological drama that explores marriage, fertility and female identity.

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.


“Moving and exciting and moral – immensely intelligent.”  – Tessa Hadley

“Fans of ‘mum noir’ are in for a treat.” – Mail Online

“A gripping take on an under-discussed topic for fans of Apple Tree Yard.” – Cosmopolitan UK

“A fascinating, compulsive and quietly transgressive novel that casts a keen, exacting eye over the dynamics of a family in extremis.” – Jessica Moor, author of Keeper

“A darkly humorous, thoughtful and thought provoking novel, along with being an absolute “up all night” compulsive read. I loved it.” – Kate Hamer

“Dark and twisty.” – The Sun

“A brilliantly structured, fast-paced and addictively compelling read. I loved the ending most of all.” – Rachel Joyce

“Unsparingly probes to the messy heart of mother/ daughter relationships. Clever and compelling. I loved it.” – Jane Shemilt

“A visceral and intimate study of the mechanics of womanhood, both physically and emotionally, which will leave you asking questions about yourself and how far love stretches. I especially loved the ending.” – Araminta Hall

“A piercingly honest view of the flesh and blood of women’s lives and the imperfect tangles of family relationships. These real, believable and maddeningly blind characters make us feel for them more and more as the story gathers pace towards a brilliant heart-stopping conclusion.” – Maggie Gee

Watch the trailer