I just finished the novel “The Choice” by Robert Whitlow and I’m torn as to what to think. I strongly support the message that the book conveys, however, as a reader and a reviewer, I felt that it could have been better.
The novel starts out in a doctor’s office, where a nervous 17 year old girl named Sandy and her anxious mother await the results of some lab tests. The doctor enters and confirms what Sandy already suspected: she is eight weeks pregnant. The first third of the novel revolves around Sandy and the upcoming choice that she has to make. Does she keep the baby and try to raise it with the father, a self-serving football jock, or does she do what society is pressuring her to do: have an abortion? Only after a chance encounter with a strange woman does she decide that adoption is the best option for her and her unborn child.
Fast forward to 2008, Sandy is a 51 year old English teacher at her former high school. The town has forgotten about her teenage stint as a social pariah and has accepted her wholeheartedly as a well-respected cheerleading coach and mentor. When a student seeks Sandy out for help and advice, she has the chance to help change this woman’s destiny and her own.
Again, while I STRONGLY agree with the message of the book, I felt that it lacked in a few categories. That might stem from the fact that this novel was written by a male, whereas the majority of the novels that I read are written by females. However, when your main character is a woman going through something that is so intensely “female”, it’s hard to look past a few of the issues that I had. I felt that in some cases, Whitlow’s depiction of female and/or maternal emotions was lacking. Personally, I don’t know the pain of giving up a child to be raised by a stranger, but one of my best friends knows that pain all too clearly. In my opinion, Sandy’s internal struggle was not “real” enough. In some ways, I almost felt that I grieved more for Sandy than she did for herself.
In some instances, I felt that the dialogue was cut short and somewhat choppy (but I have found that it is a common trait of male authors). There were unnecessary stories that sidetracked away from the actual story line. When I read a novel, I try to absorb EVERYTHING because I’ve learned that almost always, that little inconsequential tidbit plays a BIG factor in the final wrap up. In “The Choice” that was not the case. There were some things that just weren’t important or essential to the main story. As a reader, I would recommend taking those out. To me, they were just a waste of my time.
All in all, I felt like “The Choice” was a good novel, with the potential to be great. I think it has a great pro-life message, which can sometimes be stifled in today’s society.
I reviewed this novel for Litfuse Publicity. A positive review was not required, only an honest one.
Celebrate with Robert by entering to win a Nook Color with GlowLight!
One “choice” winner will receive:
- A Nook Color with GlowLight
- A four book Robert Whitlow library (winner’s choice)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on August 27th. Winner will be announced at the “The Choice” Author Chat Facebook Party on 8/28. Meet Robert, get a sneak peek of his next book, try your hand at a trivia contest, and more. There will also be gift certificates, books and a Book Club Prize Pack to be won (10 copies for your book club or small group.)!
So grab your copy of The Choice and join Robert on the evening of the August 27th for a chance to connect with Robert and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the book – don’t let that stop you from coming!)