Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sacred Choices by Karen Hulene Bartell

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"With a gleeful squeal, she hugged herself, squeezing her knees. " -Karen Hulene Bartell, Sacred Choices

Sacred Choices brings together three women. Judith, the women who has had an abortion, and is pro-choice. Ceren, the woman who just found out she was pregnant and is sure she has what she wants. And Pastora, the voice of reason in the group. This is a story of their journey,the choices that each has made and the ones that they still have to make. It's a love story, one that will draw readers in. To find the official description, please look at the Goodreads page.

Karen Bartell has created a truly marvellous book about a difficult issue. One that many people tend to take one side or the other with little in-between.
And yet Karen Bartell does not take a side definitively in this book. She presents two sides of an argument, one that tends to be debated very often and yet Karen presents it in such a way as to not be in your face, you must choose one or the other sides. She presents her interpretation of events through her character's thoughts and presents both side of the argument, allowing the reader to make up their own minds. Karen Bartell makes the reader ask questions and allowing the readers to come to their own conclusions.

She has also done a great job on the characters of Sacred Choices, but in particular Judith and Ceren. Throughout the book, you get to read their thoughts, find out where their mindsets are and how their choices or possible choices are affecting them. Karen presents the characters as having an internal debate, one that is constantly changing and being redefined. Judith made a difficult choice earlier in her life and throughout this book, you find out the effects that it has had on her life, and the changes she makes when she realizes just how it has affected her life. We also are allowed a look in Ceren's life as it stands now, and it's no walk in the park. Karen Bartell presents the debate as difficult and you can see this through the thoughts of Ceren and Judith as well.

Throughout Sacred Choices, there are flashbacks. I'm not usually a big fan of large amounts of flashbacks. I know they're necessary but I like living in the present and finding out what happens now in the books I read. However after the first few I started looking forward to the flashbacks. They provided the necessary background to give the characters great depth, allowing readers to delve deeper into their thought processes and connect more closely with the different characters. 

Sacred Choices is definitely a book that anyone and everyone should read. It deals with a difficult issue but overall doesn't push an opinion on a reader, allowing them to make their own decision. What did you think of Sacred Choices by Karen Hulene Bartell? Do you think it dealt with the issue of abortion in a positive way?

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