Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Choice

Title:  The Choice
Author:  Robert Whitlow
Pages:  432
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988
                This novel is broken in two major parts:  Part one takes place beginning in the year 1974, and part two jumps ahead into the year 2008.  In the first part of the story, we meet a teenager named Sandy who becomes pregnant, facing a multitude of decisions.  The second half of the novel opens on a courtroom scene where a young man named Dusty Abernathy is battling with his ex-wife about money.  While Dusty has been given good legal advice by his peers before his marriage, Dusty is not acting on it and this is now going to cost him more than he knows.
                In the first part of this work of fiction, we begin to see the multitude of choices presented to Sandy and her parents regarding the pregnancy.  Aunt Linda is her mother’s unmarried sister who opens her home t o Sandy as well as makes it possible for Sandy to continue her education and graduate from high school.  Sandy learns through many other characters that her choice for the outcome of her pregnancy is her decision.  Her family is very supportive.  The school she attends until a month before the birth helps her continue her education without interruption.  Sandy chooses not to abort the baby, which leaves only adoption or raising the baby as her other choices.  The father wants nothing to do with Sandy now, but what was he advocating her to do about the pregnancy?
                In the part two of the story, it is 2008 and we see Sandy has returned as an English teacher at Rutland High School, which is where Sandy attended before she became pregnant.  Sandy is more than an excellent English teacher.  Many students look to her because of her caring heart.  The ability to speak Spanish fluently helps a lot too as the school has widened its minority base from the days when Sandy was a student.  At the beginning of the school year, all teachers have been directed by the principal to send students in trouble directly to the counselors.  Will that rule show itself to be challenging to Sandy in ways that cause her to make yet again another choice?
                Maria is a teenager who looks to Sandy to guide her through the many decisions to be made now that she is pregnant.  Carol, being the school counselor, is pushing Maria down a path Maria isn’t sure she wants to choose.  Dr. Vale, the principal, is pressuring Sandy to stay out of the situation altogether and let Carol do her job.  Now, a lawyer for Maria is involved to help her and chooses to do so at no cost.  Is there a possible connection between Sandy and Jeremy Lane?  Will the school counselor consider the word “choice” to mean only one thing?  What about Dusty Abernathy’s situation as a lawyer who now is in Atlanta to focus on one set of possible cases?
                There is more to the story than meets the eye.  It grabs the heart of a reader right out of the gate.  At the end of the novel, Robert Whitlow shares his reason for writing this novel and his perspective of the word “choice”.  A magnificent work of fiction dealing with a real social issue people face today is one reason I highly recommend reading The Choice.  The other reason is because the writer’s characters present views and choices that make readers think.  Purchase a copy, read it from cover to cover, and enjoy the multifaceted storyline!
My rating is 5 stars.

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