We live in an era when medical procedures present previously unexperienced ethical issues. In this novel, Hunt tackles the practice of surrogacy.
Amanda is the wife of Gideon, a soldier in military special ops, and the mother of their young daughter. Gideon had dreamed of opening up a music store when his time of service was over but money is an issue. Mandy hears of a possible way to earn more money in nine months than Gideon would make in a whole year. She would act as a gestational carrier for a childless couple.
Amanda is shocked when, two years after the birth of the boy, she sees a photograph of the child she carried. Could it be? He looks like he belongs in her family, not theirs.
Amanda faces a dilemma that was unknown before our time of "miracle" medical procedures. And the thrust of Hunt's book is all about facing these terrible dilemmas.
Be warned: This is a heart wrenching book. It is not a fluffy, feel good novel. The issues Amanda faces are serious and painful. And the choice she makes is certainly controversial. I thought she made the right choice but I know that others would violently disagree. Because of that, I think this would make an excellent novel for a reading group. I know there will be strong feelings all around. There are questions at the back of the book for discussion, but I think there would be lively discussion even without them.
In "A Conversation with Angela Hunt" at the back of the book, she says she has "no problem with IVF or surrogacy as long as everyone involved fully understands the bioethical issues and resolves to preserve all human life." I think she has done an excellent job in this novel of bringing all of those issues to the forefront. I know there were several aspects of the process that I did not know about - ones that are certainly troubling for Christians.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Amanda Lisandra wanted a life her military spouse could not afford, so she took matters into her own hands. She decided to become a surrogate mother for a couple who could not have children of their own. But just as the baby is due, tragedy strikes. Two years later, she receives a photo of the baby she bore and wonders if it could be possible she gave up her own baby. Will she make a selfish decision or will she do what's best for the child? What is the best decision?
Angela Hunt's "The Offering" is a novel that tackles the ethics and issues surrounding surrogate parenting. It's a good, solid story. It deals with tragedy, loss, adoption and infertility in a unique way. Is surrogate parenting more about money or about a desire to do something sacrificial for another couple? Can it be both or does it have to be one or the other? Hunt doesn't answer these questions, but she does tackle a what if question that may or may not cross a potential surrogate's mindâ€”what if I inadvertently give away my own child?
Amanda Lisandra isn't a particularly likeable character. She seems selfish and focused on her own needs, not necessarily those of her own family. She wants a bigger house and a large family but isn't willing to wait for it. Though she makes sacrifices so her daughter can go to a private school for musically gifted children, she doesn't take her feelings into consideration when she decides to be a surrogate thinking she's too young to really care.
Amanda has had a rough life. Her father died when she was young. Her mother remained distant and seemingly uncaring. She was unable to get a decent paying job because she didn't have a college degree and not enough money to go back to school. She has her own little pity party throughout the book.
All in all, I enjoyed the storyline although I wish I could have liked the main character more. "The Offering" was thought-provoking, unique and well thought out.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
There aren't many places or many emotions that this novel doesn't touch. "The Offering" is a tangled weave of high and lows but told in such a way that these characters come alive and almost as though you might know them.
Could you imagine carrying another woman's child because she can't carry her own? What about finding that this baby might in fact_be your own? Is such even plausible? Could you put yourself in the shoes of our heroine? I think more than anything, the novel asks these questions above all others. Could. You. Do. It?
I'm not sure I could.
There were such deep emotional lows and not many high, highs. I wasn't sure how I was going to like how the story was going to end. But I have to say_I liked it. And it makes our characters very, very heroic. The story walks through with great detail until you feel one with Amanda's circumstances and surroundings. I would have liked that amount of detail in the last third of the book, but can see why it was left out otherwise the book would have been an additional hundred pages.
Overall, I thought it a good story with moments of strong poignancy. Definitely a read for fans (or those who like the genre) of Nicholas Sparks.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.