03 December 2014

The Recovery Room by Ann Ormsby

 There’s a storm brewing in the quiet town of Litchfield. A whirlwind of media attention, political debate, and anger is about to sweep through and hold the fate of three women captive.

In the eye of the storm are sixteen-year-old Clara Mahoney, a lonesome girl living in a family strained by autism; Pia Fernandez, a battered wife who wants only to escape her abusive husband; and, Loren Elliot, a forty-three-year-old who can barely make ends meet with two kids in college and a husband who just lost his job.

Though these women are very different, they have a great deal in common. They are each unexpectedly pregnant, scared, and in positions where they cannot devote themselves to a child. And, they all have appointments at the same abortion clinic in Litchfield.

But getting there won’t be easy. Anti-choice forces—headed by a vain socialite and a self-indulgent priest—are mounting a demonstration against the clinic. Can these desperate women brave the chaos? Or will they let the public dictate their private decisions?

An easy read that raises hard questions and then answers them in a compelling way, The Recovery Room is a book every woman should read.

I was not only pleasantly surprised by this book, I was left thinking about my feelings regarding abortion. I have my own opinions and beliefs but when you come across a thought provoking book such as The Recovery Room, it leaves the normal person either re-evaluating their prior belief or feeling more conviction as to what they believed before reading. The author didn’t write a book that preaches and demands anyone to pick a side.  She presents three women of different ages, economic status and life situations and puts them in the same arena.  She begins the story allowing us to meet Clara, a teen/young woman whose mother isn’t really there for her due to other issues in the family.  She meets a man who “rescued” her and things happened that she will regret for a long time.

Next we are introduced to Pia, a mother of two daughters and married to an abusive husband.  She lives in fear of what he will do next to her girls and feels exhausted at having to hide the secrets within her home. Loren is the last woman we will meet.  She has a loving relationship with her husband, children in college but recently their finances have taken a huge hit with the loss of a job.  Struggling to keep the payments on time and her children in college she holds on to the love of her husband while trying to keep hope alive.
Each of these women will find themselves in the same situation, unexpected pregnancies.  As the reader, you will go through the process of each woman exercising her right to choose.  This does not mean to imply they all choose the same resolution but you will experience the pain and stress as they decide.  When the debate about abortion is raging in our country, we often forget that the choice affects more than just the woman and child.  We also seem to ignore the power that protesting and social media, along with political and religious outcries have over those choices.  For what should be a personal and individual decision, the author has brought to light in this book that the theory is nothing more than a myth.
I felt like the author did a wonderful job bringing such a sensitive topic to light in the manner of a three way POV piece of fiction.  I never once felt offended or pushed to adopt a view on the topic of abortion.  As a matter of fact she really let me inside the minds of women who have to make such a choice. We forget the pain that is involved when unexpected pregnancies occur. Often the women are seen to be selfish and more concerned over their freedom from motherhood than realize there is much more at play while planning for the future of this child. 
The Recovery Room is a book I think should be read by everyone.  I give the author a huge amount of credit for tackling such a topic and doing it in a manner that was not only complete with a wide range of emotions, she did it in a classy way that left no reason for anyone to be offended, unless they decide to fight the invisible demon that is not here in this case. It is a rather large book by today’s standards but the story was interesting and it read very quickly.


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