“Human life is precious because it is the gift of a God whose love is infinite; and when God gives life, it is for ever.” John Paul II October 1979
A new baby, created in love, growing in his mother’s womb is indeed is a great gift, an eternal gift. With that gift, comes a huge responsibility: the responsibility of caring for the child in the womb and for bringing up that child, seeing to his needs and giving him the gift of faith. It’s not an easy job; in fact, it’s the most difficult and challenging job a parent will ever have to face. With the challenges, though, also comes joy.
“The Life I Dreamed” by first-time novelist, Kari Burke, is a beautifully moving and realistic novel that illustrates these pro-life attitudes and truths.
This is the story of Emmy O’Brien, a young wife who knows in her heart that motherhood is a gift, that children are a blessing and that marriage is a sacrament. However, after having four children close together along with the overwhelming demands of motherhood, Emmy becomes dissatisfied and critical. Her husband eventually receives a phone call from a 16 year old unwed pregnant girl who needs a place to stay. It takes this young unwed mother to help Emmy rediscover the fundamental belief that love is a decision, that sacrifice is an essential part of that love and that every life is an eternal gift from loving God.
I know many young mothers like Emmy. In fact, I saw a lot of myself in her.
It’s easy to say that you’re pro-life. It’s quite another thing to live the pro-life message on a day-to-day basis. I remember times that I was so tired and overwhelmed that I sat on the edge of my bed and cried. I’ve also lived the pro-life message when several of my pregnancies turned dangerous and the doctors urged either my husband or me to become sterilized (which we refused and instead, used NFP). Motherhood is challenging and difficult and while it is most certainly a sacrifice, it is equally a joy to raise these “eternal gifts.” And, as many saints have reminded us, we are not alone in our struggles. God is there with us.
The characters in Kari Burke’s book are believable and well-defined. The story is not a fairy tale story with superficial one-dimensional characters who ride off into the sunset. This story is believable, painfully so at times. The main character, Emmy, complains frequently throughout the novel, although we see a major transformation of her character near the end of the book that shows a great deal of maturity as well as a few “light bulb” moments on her part.
The edition I read contained some minor editing issues and, as an editor, I found that distracting.
Overall, however, this was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it! To find out more about this novel, check out the book’s website:
FREEBIE ALERT!!!The Life I Dreamed Kindle Edition is FREE today through Wednesday, January 23rd.
Copyright 2013 Ellen Gable Hrkach