Thursday, February 17, 2011

Motherless: A Review

Motherless is the second in a series by Brian Gail, the first being Fatherless, and the third (due out this fall) will be ChildlessFatherless introduces a number of characters and is set in the Eighties(ish), and then Motherless continues following the lives of those characters in the 2000's.

Let me start off by saying how much I have enjoyed this series.  The characters in these books are normal (mostly) Catholic businessmen, parents and children who are somehow linked to a common Priest, named Father John Sweeney.  Ironic, since that is my father's name!  Anyway, through the journey of this priest, and the struggles that occur in each of the character's daily lives, the reader really finds himself rooting that they make the right (read: moral) decisions and choose the correct path.  But, like so many of us in the real world, that doesn't always happen.  Life gets tricky, situations are more gray than black-and-white and feelings get in the way of distinguishing between right and wrong.

I truly found myself empathizing with the character's choices and consequences of those decisions.  Phil read this book at the same time (we had to fight over who got to pick it up at times!) and we could NOT stop talking about it.  The characters became like old friends.

While the overall theme of Fatherless had to do with contraception and the effects of it, Motherless had to do with creating life outside the normal, morally acceptable means.  So this book deals with IVF, sperm donors, egg donors, surrogate motherhood, embryonic stem cell research and eventually creating the "perfect human" without any need for God's creative design.  The only downside to these books is that if you already "in the know" about these issues, the facts and data can seem a little forced.  However, considering myself  someone who is knowledgeable about these matters, there was still a lot for me to learn.

I strongly recommend this Trilogy to everyone, and don't be intimidated by the length of these books, they are fast and easy reads.  I can't wait until Childless comes out!

I was lucky enough to receive this book in exchange for a promised review from The Catholic Company.

(Sarah has a better review here.) 


  1. Thanks for the review! I've heard good things about these books and I've been meaning to get started on the series.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. I got a Kindle a few weeks ago and Fatherless is available. Motherless is not yet but hopefully soon. If not, I guess I will add another book to my bookshelf.

    I love series books. I look forward to starting!

  3. It really bothers me that you said this book "had to do with creating life outside the normal, morally acceptable means."

    Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to conceive on their own, without reproductive assistance. Does that mean that they are any less entitled to having or wanting a family?

    I guess I am neither normal nor morally acceptable in the eyes of some, which I feel is very, very sad.

  4. Good Timing,
    I agree that not everyone is lucky enough to get pregnant the old-fashioned way. But I also don't think that having children is a right...I think they are a gift. I would be devestated if I could not have children, and would be completely open to looking into anything I could do within the moral boundaries of my Catholic faith to help me conceive a baby. I would also pursue adoption. What I wouldn't do is try to create life apart from God's design. These are just my personal beliefs, and I am so sorry that they made you feel sad. I will pray for you in your struggles with infertility and hope that one day you can know the joy of becoming a mother :)

  5. This looks really interesting! I'll have to check it out :)

  6. OOoooo I would love to read these series of books since I deal with many parents who have problems conceiving children naturally at my job. I find it difficult sometimes know what is right or wrong because I see so many suffering because they cannot have kids naturally. These books might help me a bit. Will definitely try to read them.


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