If you’ve been reading Christian fiction for any time at all, you’ve heard of award-winning novelist Angela Hunt and have probably read at least one of her books. Even if you haven’t, you may have watched her handiwork on TV: Her novel The Note 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. The Offering is her latest novel.
About this book: 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.
Judge this book by its cover? Yes, although since this is Mandy’s story through and through, her image on the cover would have been appropriate.
Reminds me of… Jodi Picoult, whose novels also center around controversial moral issues
Buy or borrow? Personally, I’d borrow. But if you’re among Hunt’s myriad fans, you might like to own it.
Why did I read this book? I received it from LitFuse Publicity for Howard Books to review.
Would I read another by this author? Not another novel, I think. Hunt’s style, which I know appeals to many, just doesn’t appeal to me. I would try a non-fiction book, though, or one about a subject that particularly attracts me, such as Magdalene, Hunt’s historical fiction based on a biblical character I’ve come to love even more after naming our daughter Madeline. 🙂
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
My take: The last time I read a novel by Angela Hunt was years ago, maybe twenty. Then, as now, I was drawn to her interest in writing about current day, relevant issues. The last novel I remember reading centered around the issue of abortion and its link to breast cancer. In The Offering, it’s about surrogate pregnancy, a topic that’s fascinated me ever since a neighbor bore twins on behalf of her sister.
As always, the depth and breadth of Hunt’s research manifests in her storytelling. She also puts together an intriguing mix of characters–in this case a family of close-knit Cuban Americans, an infertile French couple, and an average blue-eyed, blond American woman with a dream for her family. All good.
Where I felt a disconnect was with the main character, Mandy. Her naiveté about the world, people and relationships stretched my credibility. And sometimes the dialogue felt forced, unnatural, as too often it was used primarily as a vehicle for explanation.
I also think the back cover reveals too much of the story. It leaves few surprises. If I’d known less about what was going to happen, I may have been more drawn into the story. I did, however, appreciate the story’s redemptive ending.
Because Angela Hunt tackles such tricky subject material, I understand why her books claim so many devoted fans. But I’m afraid this one didn’t do much for me.
Thanks to LitFuse Publicity and Howard Books for providing me a copy to review. All opinions are mine.
What are other reviewers saying? Find out here. And…
One winner will receive:
- A Nook HD
- The Offering by Angela Hunt
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 4th. Winner will be announced at the “The Offering” Facebook Author Chat Party on June 5th. Connect with Angela for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Angela will also share an exclusive look at her next book and give away books and other fun prizes throughout the evening.