After growing up as 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.
With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including “The Nativity Story”. Hunt is one of the most sought-after collaborators in the publishing industry. Her nonfiction book “Don’t Bet Against Me”, written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Angela’s novel “The Note” (with sales of over 141,000) was filmed as the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movie for 2007 and proved to be the highest rated television movie in the channel’s history. Angela’s novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RITA, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the Holt Medallion. She often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers’ conferences, and she served as the keynote speaker at the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers’ national conference. She and her husband make their home in Florida with mastiffs. In 2001, one of her dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest dog in America.
The title of Angela Hunt’s website is Expect The Unexpected. How true that statement is for an author I count as one of my favorites. Her books make a reader stretch. The characters, plot lines and themes are not always comfortable or likable, but always make you think. The Offering is another such book. I had mixed emotions while reading it, but found in the end a book that made me wonder about my own choices and decisions. I just wished I had read this with a book club — it is a perfect book for in depth discussion.
Mandy has a wonderful life and beautiful family. Almost perfect — except for the lack of money for a new house and special schools for her daughter. When she meets a gestational carrier, she thinks that is possibly the answer to all her financial problems. She loved being pregnant and convinces herself and her husband, Gideon, that providing a child for a couple longing to become parents is the generous thing to do. But the unthinkable happens, and Mandy is forced to face her past nightmares, her current grief and her future dreams.
As I said before, The Offering is a great book for discussion groups. There are many ethical and moral dilemmas surrounding infertility, surrogacy and adoption. The questions of parental rights and bonding love are explored. I didn’t like Mandy’s character much at first. She is somewhat manipulative, self-absorbed and naive. She conveniently justifies her decisions and is a bit insensitive to those closest to her. But Mandy’s character grows and grows on the reader as well. If faced with similar decisions, I am not sure I would have reacted as selflessly as she.
If you want to read a book that will make you examine your own choices, the viewpoint of the world and the moral land mines surrounding decisions, pick up The Offering.
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(Thank you to LitFuse for my copy of The Offering. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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