Hello lovely readers!
I hope you had a wonderful week! This week’s pick is a book I saw on the Today Show a few weeks ago, Bringing In Finn by Sara Connell. The book’s controversial subject matter has caused quite a stir not only among readers, but on news stations, religious groups, and the medical community as well.
Just like last week’s author, Sara is also a Chicago native, an element which made her writing that much more attractive to me. While she did spend a few years abroad, most of the story takes place in the Windy City. While the story beings on a tragic note, the reader knows there will be a happy ending based on the title (and the book jacket).
While the prose was well written and kept me intrigued, I had mixed reactions to this book on many levels. Not only did it bring up many interesting questions in terms of surrogacy and the laws (not to mention morals) surrounding it, it also showed an intense and at times heart wrenching look at the struggles a couple experiencing fertility issues face and the lengths they’re willing to go to achieve of having a family. What really left a bad taste in my mouth with Connell’s book was some of the emotional issues she brings up and he attempts to deal (or not) with them. While the book’s largest claim to fame was that it shows the unconditional love between a mother and a daughter, the emotional baggage and at times outright serious issues between the two can’t help but raise questions for the reader. After learning of all past distrust and what borders on hate Sara harbors for her mother, I questioned why no one, perhaps her husband or the doctor who did the procedure, pointed out having her 61 year old mother serve as her surrogate was potentially a bad plan.
I was initially drawn to Connell’s book while looking at news topics for a class on Reproductive Technologies. I had never thought much about what went into adoptions or surrogacy, but I began paying more attention after reading the first few articles. I had seen a few TV shows such as They’re Having My Baby, or The New Normal, and suddenly was looking at them with a more critical lens. I also began watching the news again, a practice I had given up freshman year of college. It was one morning while getting ready for class I saw Sara Connell on the Today show, and was drawn to her story.
What first struck me was her discussion of her reliance on natural and homeopathic belief in medicine and how she tried various natural fertility treatments before turning to what she refers to as “Western Medicine.” Living with fibromyalgia, I firmly believe in some natural cures and treatments; but I had a difficult time reconciling that this woman, who made her living, was willing to turn to such drastic Western methods.
Overall, Bringing In Finn was an intriguing book. While well written, interesting, and thought provoking, it’s also somewhat like a train wreck—at times the story gets so graphic, and at times disturbing, that I wanted to put it down and run far, far away; and yet, I was drawn back like mosquito to a bug light. All in all, I’m glad I read it—but nonetheless, it left me with some mental images I’d rather forget. However, much like watching Sometimes In April, Bringing In Finn is a must read for anyone interested in modern politics or morality—or simply looking for a thought provoking new read.
— Meg Schlegel, Assistant Blog Editor
Editor’s Notes: Meg Schlegel is in her senior year, and is a double major in Theology and English with a minor in Spanish. An avid reader, she loves the classics like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula, historical fiction and non-fiction.