Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Emily's Hope: A Pro-life Love Story

Emily’s Hope
Author: Ellen Gable
Full Quiver Publishing, June 1, 2005
Paperback: 360 pages

Emily's Hope is an engaging love story and a young Catholic woman’s search for the truth as she travels the difficult journey from adolescence to adulthood in the late seventies through the present day. It also depicts the story of another woman’s journey, that of Emily’s great-grandmother, who appears to be the antithesis of Emily. While Emily is an innocent, unselfish, religious young woman who seeks the truth in life and love, and discovers their real meaning via Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, her great – grandmother, journeying through the early part of the 20th century to the 1960’s, abused as a child, raised without religion, married to a man she doesn’t love, haphazardly enters into one affair after another, and embraces Margaret Sanger’s philosophy. The two stories are craftfully interwoven, creating a delightful suspense for the reader.

The target audience for Emily’s Hope is clearly the young adult, aged 16 – 30, though men and women of all ages would enjoy this compelling personal story which is written in a lucid, intimate style. Young women will most certainly be drawn into the story by the romance and the lively escapades of adolescence and adulthood presented, and at the same time, will learn about the Catholic teachings regarding sexuality and marriage.

What I found most interesting about this semi- fictitious story based on the real life experiences of the author was the relationship that Emily shares with her boyfriend, who later becomes her husband. A young, Catholic man (at the peak of his sexual drive), strongly grounded in his faith, he convinces Emily, the older, and slightly more “worldly” woman, of the importance of chastity and abstinence. He is an excellent model for male youth today – someone for them to emulate in their struggles with chastity.

There is so much to love about Emily’s Hope – the innocence of young love, the beautiful, miraculous, healing power of love, and the beauty of sacrificial married love and its life-giving splendor. The story is not a fantasy, but is a tender and sensitive portrayal of what makes love real and lasting.

My rating: ***** out of a possible 5 stars.

~ Jean M. Heimann, Copyright, 2006

Crossposted at Catholic Fire.

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