In the spirit of Jodi Picoult and Anna Quindlen, CHOSEN features a young caseworker increasingly entangled in the lives of the adoptive and birth parents she represents, and who faces life-altering choices when an extortion attempt goes horribly wrong.
It all begins with a fantasy: the caseworker in her “signing paperwork” charcoal suit, paired with beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn, against a fluorescent-lit delivery room backdrop. It’s this blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of The Chosen Child’s domestic adoption program, happy juggling the high demands of her boss and the incessant needs of parents on both sides.
But the job that offers Chloe refuge from her turbulent personal life and Portland’s winter rains soon becomes a battleground itself involving three very different couples: the Novas, college sweethearts who suffered fertility problems but are now expecting their own baby; the McAdoos, a wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and Jason and Penny, an impoverished couple who have nothing-except the baby everyone wants. When a child goes missing, dreams dissolve into nightmares, and everyone is forced to examine what they really want and where it all went wrong
Chloe Pinter is a caseworker with a helpful spirit. She really believes she’s doing the world and the adoptive parents a great service by connecting them with a birthmother who — for whatever reason—is about to have a baby she can’t keep.
Chosen is the story of four couples—Chloe and Dan, her almost fiancé who has very different goals than she does, but loves her just the same. Jason and Penny who know they need to give their baby up for adoption, but are heartbroken by the act all the same. Francie and John who have waited so very long to be able to adopt the baby of their dreams. And Paul and Eva who after years of trying to get pregnant and contemplating adoption are finally about to deliver a baby of their very own.
But what happens when the birthfather feels slighted and the birthmother slips into depression and the caseworker makes a few careless mistakes? Disaster.
I’m always careful not to give spoilers in my reviews, so I’ll just say that Chosen is a supreme example of the old adage, “the best laid plans of mice and men…” The four couple have plans, but unfortunately their plans are not in sync and their lives are tied together through the Chosen Child adoption agency.
I was a little thrown that the novel’s written in present tense, but once I got into the rhythm of the story, I stopped conjugating verbs and rewriting the tense in my head and settled in to enjoying the story. (If biting my nails and praying for the story to work out happily for everyone involved can be considered “enjoying”.) Chosen is an insightful look into the lives of four very different couples who have one thing in common, babies. More exactly, two babies who’ll change all of their lives forever.
Hoffman does an amazing job, giving the readers a candid look into the world of adoption not only from the caseworker’s perspective, but from all parties involved. How does a woman walk away from a child she’s only just brought into the world? Ask Penny. How does it feel to want a baby so badly that you‘re willing to sacrifice your every dream for it? Ask Francie. And how does it feel to make the biggest mistake of your life? Just ask—Uhup, no spoilers. You’ll just have to read Chosen to find out.
Facebook: Chandra Hoffman, Author
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