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Recommended Book #3
When I first picked up The Gift of a Child, I have to admit I didn't expect all too much. The book was small, and all I could think was "What kind of content could be covered in such a simple book?" but then again, it is not the size that counts.
As I read through this book, I couldn't help but put myself inside the story. Mary Ann Thompson used the first person perspective greatly to her advantage in a form that is not often seen. Rather than making me feel as if I was the character, she made me feel as if I was a dear friend sitting beside her, listening to her tell me her thoughts -- as if I was her closest confidant.
The Gift of a Child is about Thompson's pregnancy and the child's birth, but this story is not a story about your average traditional mother. It is about a woman who gave the greatest gift to her barren friend Alycia -- the gift of the child that would help complete both of their lives and teach them some of life's greatest lessons.
I found The Gift of a Child particularly insightful, even though I have never seriously thought of raising a child myself. But I have a close friend who would like to raise a child, and would make a fabulous mother. Yet she is like Alycia, and shares the same burden of barrenness. This friend and I have occasionally jested about my giving birth to a child that she could raise, which is why this book was particularly poignant to me. "The Gift of a Child" has made me recognize the risks, as well as the precious lessons, that the both of us would have to face if we ever decided that we would go through with such an act of friendship.
This book not only teaches the reader about the pains and gains of pregnancy and the aspects of being a surrogate mother, it also teaches the reader about the preciousness of life. A child is not ours to give, or have, or keep. A child is not a possession. A child only belongs to themselves, just like we only belong to ourselves. Unfortunately, for so many people, "relationships are built as if there is ownership involved, to "give away" a child is beyond reason. We "have" children and are married "to" someone. And in such relationships of owning, people become commodities."
I would recommend The Gift of a Child to anyone in nay relationship - whether tehy are married, lovers, friends or family. This book will help them appreciate each other for who they really are as individuals. As well as realise how precious people and life really are.