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Hope for the Future: A Review of ‘For Eden’s Sake’

“It is a poverty that a “child must die”, so that you may live as you wish.”–Mother Teresa

Reading Level

Grades 9+

Review and Comments

One of this year’s newest Catholic YA novels is difficult to describe.  I want to make this a simple review, but there’s too much to think about.  It’s beautiful, it’s sad, it’s hopeful, it’s true.

The story begins with Isaac, a young man of faith and conviction, letting go of his inhibitions and drinking too much at a work event.  He makes some bad decisions and because of this ends up getting a girl he hardly knows pregnant.  This young woman, Rebecca, decides that she is not going to keep the baby and asks for money from Isaac for an abortion.  From here the emotions fly on both ends as they fight over the life of this unplanned child.  It’s a simple plot, but the emotions behind the actions and decisions of the characters is what really moves the readers.

What is Beautiful

I’m old enough now where I’m able to look at the parents of Isaac and feel their pain and disappointment in the actions of their son.  He has done something stupid.  He has sinned, and his sin has caused a difficult situation not only for him, but for a girl he hardly knows.  He is now connected to this girl whether he wants to be or not.

I felt the tension in the room as Isaac told his father what he had done and I felt for both of them, but the reaction of his father is one that I feel most parents SHOULD hope to have.  His mother the next morning is describes has having disappointment in her eyes despite the smile on her face as she makes breakfast for her son.  

The beauty here is that Isaac has wonderful parents, but also, this is how I would imagine God would respond to a confession of sin.  Disappointment, sadness, and yet love that permeates the frustration.  Isaac’s parents react in the image and likeness of God…and THAT is beautiful.

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