Angela Hunt in her new book, "The Offering" published by Howard Books takes us into the life of Amanda Lisandra.
From the back cover: One innocent mistake . . . a lifetime of consequences.
After growing up an only child, Amanda Lisandra wants a big family. But since she and her soldier husband can't afford to have more children right away, Mandy decides to earn money as a gestational carrier for a childless couple. She loves being pregnant, and while carrying the child, she dreams of having her own son and maybe another daughter. . . .
Just when the nearly perfect pregnancy is about to conclude, unexpected tragedy enters Mandy's world and leaves her reeling. Devastated by grief, she surrenders the child she was carrying and struggles to regain her emotional equilibrium.
Two years later she studies a photograph of the baby she bore and wonders if the unthinkable has happened--could she have inadvertently given away her own biological child? Over the next few months Mandy struggles to decide between the desires of her grief-stricken heart and what's best for the little boy she has never known.
From a personal standpoint I don't really understand the idea of surrogate parenting. I do understand that, genetically, the child is the same as if the wife had carried it naturally. The only difference here is that another woman is carrying the child to term. Whatever my issue is this is the situation that Ms. Hunt has given us here in her book, "The Offering". Amanda was a surrogate parent and gave the child over to the parents after birth. Two years later Amanda thinks she actually gave up the baby she was going to have with her husband. Ms. Hunt has given us an emotionally riveting story that could have gone all soapy on us. Instead she has given us characters that are real and, sometimes, far from likeable. "The Offering" deals with issues of surrogate parenting, tragedy, loss, adoption and infertility. These are issues that are not normally addressed in literature and Ms. Hunt has done a spectacular job in her presentation. She has certainly given us much to think about whether we agree with the actions that are taken by the characters or not.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group for this review. 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."
Upon picking up The Offering you will find yourself in an emotionally drawn plot. I enjoyed the seriousness and the thought provoking issues presented throughout. The topics varied from surrogacy, IVF, infertility, adoption, and tragedy.
I enjoyed the main character and loved how I was able to read the story through her point of view, hearing her thoughts, seeing her actions and bonding with her. I bonded way too much with Mandy that I found myself crying more than once throughout the story. She proved to be a very sacrificial person, who chose the overall good in the end. I would have loved for the main character to have a real relationship with Jesus, instead of just a ‘church go-er’ type.
Another keen factor was that the author wrote the story with no intentional side for you to pick. It was up to the reader to make his decision based upon the facts presented.
Overall I felt enlightened toward subjects that I sat on the fence before. I enjoyed this emotionally bound one of a kind story. I give The Offering a 4 out of 5.
I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
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 mind—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.