Being a surrogate mother was supposed to make dreams come true --- dreams for the couple who desperately wanted a baby, and dreams for Amanda and Gideon Lisandra, who had big plans for the surrogacy payment. With it, they could finally buy the house they couldn’t afford on Gideon’s military salary and keep their young daughter in music school. Best of all, they could afford to have more children, a big dream for Amanda, who grew up as an only child. When Gideon announces he will retire from the military in 18 months, Amanda feels everything coming together to form a bright and beautiful future. Until the bottom drops out.
In two gut-wrenching twists, Amanda is plunged into a darkness that shatters her world and shakes her faith. Angela Hunt’s THE OFFERING gives readers the kind of story, characters and issues that stay wrapped around one’s mind and heart long after the last page is turned.
"THE OFFERING is a riveting story packed with heart-string highs and lows, and serves as an eye-opener to the emotionally-charged issue of surrogacy. Author Angela Hunt seamlessly incorporates well-researched facts into a very believable tale."
Once she gets Gideon on board with the surrogacy plan, Amanda is accepted as a gestational carrier for a childless, wealthy French couple who ache for a child to love and inherit their vineyard. Despite some spotting early in the pregnancy, all goes well. The doctor’s only concern is that the baby is small and seems to be a little behind in the stages of development. Though physically fine, Amanda can’t deny a feeling of foreboding. Her husband is leaving more and more often on his special ops missions, and international news seems to be increasingly worrisome. When two military officers approach her front door, Amanda’s worst fears are realized. And as her world shatters, Amanda feels her first contraction.
With hardly a glance, the newly widowed Amanda surrenders baby Julien to his new parents. When she tries to see the baby for a final goodbye a few days later, Amanda discovers that he is already in France. Two years go by, with Amanda trying to survive in a world void of Gideon. The French couple reneges on their promise to send photos, finally doing so on Julien’s second birthday. Amanda looks at the picture…and can hardly breathe. Those eyes, that mouth, the structure of his face --- in every way, the little boy’s photo is a near match for her daughter’s photo at age two. Amanda hires a lawyer and takes a DNA test that proves Julien is her child --- hers and Gideon’s. Now all that’s left is to get him back.
THE OFFERING is a riveting story packed with heart-string highs and lows, and serves as an eye-opener to the emotionally-charged issue of surrogacy. Author Angela Hunt seamlessly incorporates well-researched facts into a very believable tale. Readers will relate to her likable characters, aching when they ache and cheering them on for the tough choices they make. Though most of her characters are Christians, the storyline easily could be considered a “crossover,” with appeal to believers and non-believers alike. This is a great novel to read individually or as part of a book discussion group.
Reviewed by Susan Miura on May 17, 2013