PUBLICATION DATE: SEPTEMBER 01, 2012
annah Lawson always felt a little out of place. Born 3 months early, she struggled with a variety of medical conditions and went through several operations in an effort to provide her with a normal life. But to Hannah, it seems like more separates her from her friends and family, than just her physical ailments. With a loving family, her best friend Jason, and a lead part in her college’s spring play, by all appearances, Hannah’s life should be perfect. However, beneath the surface is a deeply lonely, insecure woman, longing to find her place in her own life. When events allow her to finally uncover the truth of her identity, neither she nor her family are fully prepared to face the consequences of that knowledge. Not only does Hannah learn she’s adopted, but that she’s the survivor of a failed abortion. Knowing only the name of the Mobile, Alabama hospital where she was born, Hannah tags along on a road trip with Jason and other college friends to find her birthmother. But is the touching reunion she hopes for realistic or will her birthmother reject her? In a beautifully written, feel good story, October Baby is a touching coming of age story of choices, love and forgiveness.
I cannot think of a better person to write this story than Eric Wilson. One day on his Facebook page and it’s obvious that he has a tremendous heart for people. He’s not about issues, but rather people. In a story that deals with abortion and of all things, a failed abortion, Eric keeps the politics out and focuses on the people. This is a book about the characters and their struggles; about forgiveness and discovering themselves. This is a story that lets the reader understand not just the hot button side of the abortion issue, but also the people behind each step of the abortion debate. This is truly a beautiful story of redemption for all those who are touched by Hannah’s life.
October Baby is based on the movie by the same name, which released in 2011. I have not watched the movie, so I have no idea how much creative liberty Eric took with the script. From reading the novelization of the Kendrick brother’s movies, however, I can make a pretty good guess that whatever he added was a great touch.
This story seems like it would be difficult to write, especially the characters. Hannah and her dad, Jacob, both have the potential to be quite ugly. Hannah needed just the right balance between empathy and vulnerability, while her father had to come across as loving and protective without being a jerk. I think Eric walks this fine line with both of these characters. I quickly came to understand both of their positions and genuinely wanted the best outcome for them.
October Baby deals with the issue of abortion and the emotions that can come from learning not only that one is adopted, but they were born despite a failed abortion attempt. However, it goes deeper into not just Hannah’s emotions, but also her birthmother’s feelings. Oftentimes women who have experienced or are considering abortion are seen as a ‘villain’ and that’s simply not the case. Frequently they’re a victim as well. I love the balance that Eric brings into this aspect of the story.
While October Baby deals with a difficult topic, it’s very heart-warming and uplifting. It has many wonderful reminders of God’s love, forgiveness, and acceptance. In addition to a great story, there are beautiful characters and many memorable quotes. I’ll close with my favorite. “To be human is to be beautifully flawed.”